Have you noticed a decrease in business enquiries and sales?
If you haven’t, then it’s highly likely that you soon will.
Coronavirus is the biggest threat to businesses worldwide … and our data proves it.
More about that further down.
And there’s data from other sources that also proves it. See, for example, the section titled ‘Organic traffic is down in most industries’ within https://neilpatel.com/blog/coronavirus/, which includes this chart showing organic website traffic declines in most sectors …
Many businesses will die or decline too much to ever recover, while others will survive.
What makes the difference is taking proactive action to be one of the survivors.
That may sound dramatic but the threat is very real.
The good news is that we include survival tactics later on in this guide, but before that, please continue reading, as it’s very much worth understanding the current position in more detail …
Why our data and viewpoint is relevant
A1WebStats is a product that has been tracking millions of visitors to thousands of business websites worldwide since 2012.
When taken collectively, our data shows a pattern of increases and decreases of website visitors (to the websites we track).
This graph takes the millions of visitors to websites that we track and presents them over recent time, using a scale of 0-100, where 100 represents levels of website traffic before Coronavirus became big news …
Each date on that graph represents a significant event relating to Coronavirus.
The most significant part of that graph is what’s happened to Italian website visitors and what that means to businesses worldwide.
Lessons from Italy
From late January onwards, there has been a huge decrease in numbers of website visitors going to the websites of Italy-based businesses.
Those decreases have dipped in line with significant events such as:
- The first Coronvirus death in Italy.
- Quarantine of Italian regions, followed by the whole country.
- Other significant events (such as the closing of shops and businesses).
Our data shows that from the end of January through to mid March, there was a 54% decrease in the number of visitors going to Italian business websites.
Our dialogue with some of those businesses reinforced the data, with many saying how much their levels of enquiries and sales had dropped as a result of Coronavirus.
This is no surprise because although business has to go on, the economic impact of Coronavirus naturally means that buyers will be holding back until they feel they are able to spend.
It becomes a domino effect of:
- Business A has less sales.
- Business A knows they want Product X but won’t research the options until they have more financial stability.
- Business B offers Product X but isn’t getting the sales they need.
- Business B wants Product Y but without their own sales coming in, they’re not in a position to research and buy.
That scenario above becomes a problem when businesses effectively slow down researching and buying.
In short: businesses are then fighting for a smaller pool of potential buyers who have been to their websites.
We need to return to the graph …
What else does the graph show us?
Italy has taken a brave decision to quarantine the whole country, in a bid to restrict the spread of Coronavirus.
Short-term (but likely longer-term), that will have a huge economic impact to the majority of business sectors.
Although we have website visitors data from all types of businesses worldwide, the majority of our data is from Europe (including the UK) and the US.
The graph has a separate (grey) line showing the decreases in website visitors just within the UK and US.
That decline is not as dramatic as Italy, showing that website visitor numbers are down 21% as at mid-March 2020).
But you can see the decrease is still there, as events around the world (particularly Italy at the time of writing) send shockwaves through businesses.
Those businesses may be directly affected by the economic fallout of the position in Italy, but are equally likely to be concerned about their own position, should stronger containment measures be introduced in their own countries.
To summarise that: there will be decreases in visitors to websites, in line with countries having to adapt their stance on Coronavirus-related restrictions.
What’s highly likely to happen
As Italy has shown us, the bigger the impact of Coronavirus, the less potential customers there will be for businesses in the majority of industries.
Banging the same old drum but with a Coronavirus focus
Here at A1WebStats we have been banging a particular drum for many years.
That drum beats to the sound of:
If you make your website better, and your marketing spend more efficient, then you will gain more enquiries and sales from your website, and your competitors will lose those potential customers.
The message often doesn’t get acted upon because of a variety of reasons including:
- The business feels they’re doing OK
- The business has staff/external resources that are not doing a good enough job of making their online presence as strong as it needs to be.
- The business doesn’t want to make the time for making things better and prefers to throw more marketing budget at the problem of not getting enough sales.