Report: E-Commerce Sites Doubled Ad Spending During Chinese Virus Outbreak

Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos provides the keynote address at the Air Force Association's Annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Oxen Hill, MD, on September 19, 2018. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

A new report shows that e-commerce sites doubled their ad spending between mid-February and the second week of March as social distancing became the norm due to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

New data released by media sales intelligence firm MediaRader shows that e-commerce ad spending jumped from $4.8 million the week of February 17th to $9.6 million the week of March 9th. This includes advertising spending across national TV, print and digital media, social media, YouTube, and podcasts.

SearchEngineLand.com commented on the sudden increase in e-commerce ad spending, writing:

Earlier data from Quantum Metric indicated that e-commerce sales for retailers that also have brick and mortar locations ” saw an average revenue weekly growth rate increase of 52% and an 8.8% increase in conversion rates” between January 1 and February 29. Many merchants have reported e-commerce sales exceeding rates of Black Friday and Cyber Monday levels.

This unplanned spike has caused supply and fulfillment challenges. Chinese manufacturing plants are just now getting back to full capacity after being offline since mid-January.

For its part, Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers to meet fulfillment needs and announced last week it is will only receive essential items to its warehouses. That means sellers that rely on Amazon for fulfillment will not be able to restock their inventory for at least four weeks. We may see e-commerce advertising slow in these weeks if e-commerce sites experience sustained stock-outs and fulfillment challenges. Amazon began curbing its own advertising on Google in late January and essentially stopped running Google text ads as of March 11, according to digital agency Tinuiti.

Many online retailers are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce giant Amazon has reportedly increased the cleaning of door handles, stair rails, and other surfaces at its facilities. The firm has also begun staggering shift times, spreading out break-room tables and asking drivers to keep their distance from customers when delivering orders. Many workers at Amazon’s facilities, however, have not been assuaged by these measures, more than 200 workers staged a strike at a warehouse in Saran in the south of Paris calling for the facility’s closure.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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