Keep Calm And Campaign On – The Impact of COVID-19

Posted By on April 19th, 2020 in Pay Per Click

The ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, has impacted businesses all over the world creating problems across a variety of industries such as retail, tourism, air travel, transportation, and more.

According to a forecast from eMarketer, global worldwide ad spend is currently down USD $20B from the beginning of the year.

Due to social distancing rules, meaning major conferences, sporting events, and other large gathering events have had to be cancelled, not to mention travel restrictions placed globally, travel and local-based businesses are struggling to generate previously anticipated demand. Additionally, the temporary restricted operating hours, or in some cases complete [temporary] closure, of malls, movie theatres, and other public entertainment venues, the ability for brick and mortar businesses to generate profits becomes more challenging.

Also as per the Mobility Market Outlook on COVID-19, the global revenue for the travel and tourism industry will be an estimated USD $568.6B in 2020 – a decrease of around 17% from the previous year. Additionally, this is significantly lower than the original 2020 forecast of around USD $712B

So COVID-19 has not only affected the industry, but also the global economy.

On the other hand, there is good news for E-commerce retail advertisers.

Although people are having to stay home more than usual, avoiding stores and public spaces, they still need their everyday products and some way to fill their time at home, so online shopping it is! Google Shopping, along with any E-commerce search campaigns, are likely to see an increase in volume over the next few weeks and even months.

eMarketer’s data shows the best use of ad spend at the moment is PPC, followed by email marketing and regional advertising.

Growth in Online Sales in the UAE

As per Facebook, many retailers are witnessing sustainable growth in online sales in the UAE.


  • +59% new online customers
  • +32% online sales in the first 2 weeks of march vs same period, previous month


  • 70-100% online sales
  • 50-60% increase in the value of purchase In the last 2-3 weeks   


  • We have seen our orders increase at a month-on-month rate of more than 53% in March.
  • Increase by 70% in App downloads compared to February

Worldwide E-commerce sales topped USD $3.5T, an increase of approximately 18% from the year before. E-commerce is expected to nearly double by 2023 to more than USD $6.5B.

So while most advertisers are in a panic, we must remember there is always opportunity in chaos – if we are brave enough to seize it!

Tips to Manage and Grow your PPC Campaigns during COVID-19 Pandemic

So here are few tips on how you can manage PPC campaigns during this pandemic and grow your business:

Ad Copy and Extension

Take this opportunity to highlight your valued propositions; such as delivery services for your products, delivery times, costs, etc. You can even use ad copy and ad extensions to further promote services and value propositions such as free delivery, fast delivery, as well as any pick-up and drop-off options for consumers.

Device Strategy

Daily routines will go from working from a laptop at home, to desktops, to going back to mobile use during commutes again. In other words, mobile traffic may have decreased, but you will want to adjust your PPC campaigns for mobile traffic after the quarantine period ends. Indeed, you should review your marketing campaign device settings. When the time comes, make your brand highly visible on mobile again.

Bidding strategy

Review and adjust both manual and automated bidding strategies. You should also monitor your campaign’s marketing strategy given the volatile market. Remember, conditions will continue to shift, therefore if you don’t just set and forget, you may be able to go along with the changes.

Search Behavior

Just because people are practicing social distancing because of COVID-19 it does not mean that they have stopped searching for things and making purchases online. Take this opportunity to highlight your value propositions such as delivery services for your products, delivery times, costs, adding call & message extensions in your ads.

Instead of panicking, the best way to handle this situation is to observe the trends and take immediate action.