Data And Insights For Your Marketing Strategy | Next Level Online Marketing

FMCG –  Now and Beyond COVID-19

Coronavirus changed the world as we know it, we went from being able to buy what we want whenever we wanted, to making one trip a week to the shops and hoarding as much as we could. However, where there is change there is opportunity and brands in the FMCG industry now have opportunities to help their customers, now and beyond COVID-19.

So what can brands do right now?

The unique situation of Coronavirus has put us all in an awkward position, as customers we are in constant need to know what is going on with our food and groceries. Restrictions on shopping and shipping have greatly affected our lives, however, this offers brands the unique opportunity to build their relationship with their customers and gain trust. Brands can build trust by being transparent about their current situation and practicing messaging based on their customer behaviour.

Source: Google Agency Insights Forum #1 – YouTube COVID-19 Support Seminar

From our regular catch ups with Google, we have a diagram that helps explain customer behaviour, this diagram  ranks businesses by their necessity or opportunity to bring value during this pandemic.  Also providing some guidance on how each brand should act depending on where they rank on the scale.

Determining your position on this scale will impact your customer messaging. Being in the FMCG category you sit in a very interesting position according to Neilson Australia, grocery sales have increased by +45% in a few weeks.  Some basic foodstuffs recorded significant rises in sales in four weeks finishing on February 22 2020, these include; 

  • pasta (+76%)
  • eggs (+72%)
  • canned meals (+71%)
  • tea (+62%)
  • rice (+58%)
  • flour (+55%) 
  • shelf-stable milk (+50%)

FMCG brands are in luck right now with high demands on the majority of products but how can we predict how long this will last?

What can brands do to better prepare for the future?


Right now, Australia is still in threshold #5 restricted living. Although it may seem like this pandemic will never end, it will and it is important to be prepared for when the change comes. 

You can do this by predicting customer behaviour; China, Italy and Spain are slowly moving into threshold #6 living a new normal, so what does it mean for customer behaviour? During this global quarantine people have heavily relied on e-commerce, in Italy e-commerce levels were up by +158% compared to a year ago in the week ending April 5th. It is predicted that these levels will stay up. A Nielsen survey showed that 60% of people say they are eating more at home than prior to the pandemic. Due to this it is expected that consumers’ food and drink purchase items will be focused around healthy and long term pantry essentials.

So what does this all mean?

It is important to stay educated about the current global climate and analyse changes in other countries’ consumer behaviour as the situation evolves. Embrace your opportunities, customers are looking to brands for information on how they are operating during this crisis, this is your chance to build their trust. 

Google has provided us with some great statistics about current opportunities for those in the FMCG industry.

  • With 81% of Aussies shopping online, having a clear website that’s easy to navigate will gain you more customers.
  • 30% of Australians are spending more time shopping online since the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to have good online advertising to drive leads to your site.

32% of Aussies will increase their online shopping in the future. It is important to keep your customers interested and coming back to you with good remarketing campaigns.

Source: Google Agency Insights Forum #3 – COVID-19 AUNZ

Our Advice

There is a new normal, consumers are expecting more from their brands not just in terms of products. We recommend being transparent with your customers, constantly update your websites and social media channels and be clear about your efforts to assist them during this crisis. This will help build your relationship with your consumers and establish trust. It is also imperative to keep up to date with the current climate and to look at the data around how other countries are reacting to the current pandemic. Looking at countries one step ahead of us and their buying habits can help us predict the next stage of normal here in Australia. 

Stay educated, stay relevant, stay transparent and you will earn a new level of trust in the eyes of your consumers.