Much of the economy has been shaken by the spread of COVID-19 — increasing the demand for B2B companies.
Supply chains across industries have been disrupted and those who have technology in place to mitigate the damage will come out stronger than competitors.
Some companies, like grocery stores, are now starting to build new online capabilities. Other eCommerce companies are figuring out how to use robots to handle warehouse materials.
While this pandemic will one day pass, its effect on logistics will not. If anything, this crisis seems to have pushed the inevitable into becoming a reality faster.
As companies behind the scenes vie for the attention of transitioning businesses, they have ramped up their ad efforts.
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A Sprint to New Logistics
With everybody hunkered down at home, eCommerce sales in the US spiked 49% between March 12 and April 11, placing stress on supply chains.
“From delivery software to mobile robots that help workers fulfill eCommerce orders, those offerings are drawing attention in industries where thin margins have often left companies clinging to older, highly manual operations,” reports Jennifer Smith. The food industry is one such industry that appears to be changing fast.
Food suppliers are looking for ways to replace manual records with digital, contactless systems. Grocery stores are looking to establish their online capabilities.
Other industries are facing challenges with their global supply chains. Most companies know their direct suppliers, but not the line of suppliers behind them.
In early February, Resilinc conducted a survey and found that 70% of 300 surveyed businesses did not know where all their suppliers were located in China. They had to manually collect data and identify which supplies came from areas in lockdown.
Businesses know that supply mapping is essential for reducing risk in times of disaster — but it is very difficult and expensive. Moving forward, there may be no other choice but to invest in mapping services and supply chain disruption plans. It will be a big gamble not to.
In addition to the stress placed on eCommerce and supply chains, IT businesses are facing challenges of their own. Transitioning a workforce to remote work so suddenly presents a host of security, bandwidth and regulatory issues.
“We estimate that VPN usage in the U.S. could increase over 150% by the end of the month,” said chief operating officer of Atlas VPN, Rachel Welch, in March. The increased demand places stress on enterprises and the capacity side alike.
Needless to say, there is a lot of work going on in the logistics and tech world to make such a sudden shift in society work. We are seeing this transition play out in the ad numbers on B2B websites.
We saw a 20% MoM increase in the number of brands advertising on logistics websites in March, as companies rework their supply chains.
Spending on logistics sites in the first week of April was 22% higher than the first week of March.
Example Shipping & Logistics sites include:
- American Shipper
- Inbound Logistics
Likewise, IT websites have seen an increase in ad revenues. We saw revenue rise 73% from the week of 3/1 to week of 4/5.
Ad creative also went through notable changes to fit the times. Companies are vying for the attention of IT decision makers looking to purchase WFH software and hardware.
There is a lot of work to be done in the logistics and tech world as many companies examine how they want to reopen and what their roadmap will be moving forward.
These B2B companies will continue to play a major role in that transition. As they do their part, we will do ours by monitoring their ad spend.
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