Online buyer behaviour trends during lockdown

According to our Research and Insights team, we expect to see the coronavirus-related drop in sales transactions to continue into Q4 of 2020.*

While the instinct might be to switch off any digital marketing you’re doing amid this uncertainty, these sorts of decisions always need to be data-led.

Buyers gathering information

Since the start of the coronavirus period, we’ve been conducting some research into how buyer behaviour online has evolved in the current climate.

Looking at AdReach ads running on social media channels, we’ve seen that home movers are still actively gathering/requesting information on new build developments during this time, even if visiting the property isn’t possible.**

Also, the way browsers are behaving and the types of messages they’re responding to are changing.

We’ve put together some quick guides to help you match your development’s messaging to what buyers need right now.

Adapt your ads to include softer digital copy and call to actions

Our data shows that shifting your activity to focus on touch points that are at the top of the marketing funnel is resulting in a higher click-rate.

We ran a test that looked at the conversion rates of campaigns running with softer versus harder call-to-actions. On average, those with a softer call-to-action had a 95% higher conversion rate than those with a harder message.***

Examples of soft CTAs Examples of hard CTAs
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This suggests that property hunters are still gathering information at this time. Their intent to move has not necessarily reduced, but the type of information and touch points they need has shifted.

We’re recommending that agents adapt their copy and call to actions to reflect this change in behaviour.

Evaluate location targeting

Our data shows a lot of variance in activity and lead generation across different areas of the UK. 

Some areas, like the North West, Scotland and Bristol, are actually seeing lead generation increase during social distancing, while the Midlands has seen little-to-no impact on campaign conversion rates.

To make the most of regional browsing patterns, we recommend that you analyse all your area-based digital activity and the lead types you’re receiving. This is key to help you prioritise spending and activity in the locations that have the best engagement at this time.

Depending on your KPIs, it may still be beneficial to sustain digital activity in the areas with lower than normal engagement.

However, it’s important to review the content and copy of the adverts being served, making sure that it’s optimised and continues to reflect buyers’ evolving priorities and concerns.

Speak to our AdReach team to learn more about how we’re seeing future buyers browsing habits evolve.


*Zoopla Research, April 2020
**Average call to action performance Jan – mid-March compared with mid-March to date
***Based on a comparison of 12 AdReach development campaigns using both soft and hard copy