Panic buying, ad spend, online sales: 5 interesting stats to start your week

We arm you with all the stats you need to prepare for the coming week and help you understand the big industry trends.

Shoppers face shortages as panic buying escalates

Almost three quarters (72%) of UK shoppers are facing shortages of retail products as the coronavirus crisis continues to take its toll.

While 25% of consumers admit to stockpiling goods, 15% say they cannot afford to stockpile despite fears over food shortages.

Some (63%) of consumers believe the coronavirus is a high threat to UK health, up from just 36% two weeks ago.

In the context of social distancing, two-fifths of consumers say they are avoiding public transport, restaurants and entertainment destinations, while 25% are shunning shopping locations. Shoppers say they are pausing clothing, leisure and travel-related expenditure.

Some 64% of UK consumers say they intend to buy more products online in the future to avoid physical contact, while going forward 63% plan to avoid public transport and 49% expect they will be avoiding shopping locations in the months to come.

Source: Retail Economics

Global ad spend tempered by worsening Covid-19 outbreak

Total media ad spend worldwide is expected to reach $691.7bn (£593.6bn) in 2020, up from 7% in 2019. However, these figures are down from the 7.4% rise previously forecast, which predicted global ad spend would reach $712bn (£611bn).

This year total media ad spending in China is expected to reach $113.7bn (£97.6bn), down from the previous estimate of $121.13bn (£104bn) due to the impact the spread of coronavirus is having on business.

China’s 2020 ad spend growth rate has been downgraded to 8.4% from 10.5%, due to a reduction in spend across all media formats, including digital.

Outdoor ad spend could also feel a negative impact worldwide if social distancing and self-isolation measures persist globally.

Source: eMarketer

UK consumers fear virus will financially impact their family

Half of UK consumers believe the coronavirus outbreak will have a financial impact on their family, while 23% say they are taking the personal threat posed by the virus seriously.

Some 18% of Brits are stocking up on food, while 6% admit to stockpiling bottled water as the crisis continues. If shortages are experienced in their local store, 89% of UK consumers say this will be caused by stockpiling, compared to just 11% who would blame these shortages on supply chain issues.

Source: Ipsos Mori

Online sales flat as slow start to the year continues

Winter storms, flooding and now the outbreak of Covid-19 has caused online sales to drop by 0.4% year on year in February.

A continuation of January’s weak performance (down 0.4%), online sales fell well below the three month (4%), six month (7.5%) and 12-month rolling averages (5.3%.)

Multi-channel retailers saw sales growth plummet by 8.2%, compared to their online only counterparts, which registered growth of 12.5%. Gardening sales were affected worse by the wet weather, down 22% from February 2019, while footwear sales fell by 7.6%.

Source: IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index

Young people turn to TV

The number of 16-34 year olds watching ITV news and daytime programmes rose by 26% on 2019 (16-18 March) as young people turned to TV for information and entertainment during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Viewership of the ITV lunchtime news among 16-34 year olds rose by 160% versus the year-to-date average, while viewership of the News at Ten programme rose by 33% among this younger demographic.

Looking at the total audience, ITV’s lunchtime news programme recorded its biggest audience since New Year’s Day 2014 – doubling its ratings year on year – while more than 4 million tuned into the ITV evening regional news.

ITV Daytime reached a six year high, notching up its biggest audience since Christmas Day 2013, including flagship show This Morning, which grew its audience by 93%.

Source: ITV

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