Jun 22, 2020

Covid-19 Update: Selfies, Shopify, and Spectacles

Covid-19 continues to reveal a myiad of unforeseen effects across all parts of society and the world. But in this edition of our fortnightly review of digital marketing news we have been able to focus on some of the more positive stories out there to share with you. Do please send us your feeback by email or through the members forum.

Ireland's Covidpreneurs

Sapphire Eyewear
Sapphire Eyewear

Many businesses have found new or alternative ways to keep going and to contribute during this period. A recent business article in the Irish Times takes a close look at five distinct “Covidpreneurs” in Ireland: a flour miller, a car-parts provider that has learned to diversify, an online learning producer, a gin distillery making hand sanitizer, and an optician who was able to “leap into ecommerce” by studying digital marketing and adding to his skill set to sell his unique product. Read the full article.

Shopify, the Good Guys


Covid-19 has been good for eCommerce platform Shopify, with a growth of 62% over a 6-week period in March/April. It recently launched a consumer shopping app, called Shop, which is particularly helpful for those wanting to support local businesses. Some commentators also think this launch shows it could become seen as a serious rival to Amazon or Etsy. Indeed, research from eMarketer showed that Shopify last year overtook eBay’s share of e-commerce sales in the US, leaving it second only to Amazon. But the Canadian-based platform manages to maintain its “good guy” image, with its COO Harley Finkestein claiming, “We like the positioning of us being the brand behind the brand that makes entrepreneurs look great.” This Guardian story provides a good overview of the platform’s history and unique advantages.

Email, Always Useful


Email Marketing is definitely going through an interesting chapter right now and email newsletters have been booming during the global lockdown, helped in large part by the nifty publishing platform, Substack. The Atlantic has a fascinating long read on this. Or learn more about the art and science of email marketing in our June 26th podcast episode, or register for our live webinar on July 9th.

In Other News

  • We recently celebrated National Selfie Day, on June 21, and it’s been revealed that selfies have actually been helping in the fight against fraud during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more in Forbes.
  • Snap launched a new feature called Minis which brings other apps into Snapchat: a move that is notable for aligning with a similar development that helped WeChat become even more popular in China. Read more about Snapchat’s other new features, or check out our introductory article about Snapchat.
  • In the ongoing dispute between Facebook and the Australian news media, the tech giant has said it can forego having news on its platform as it would not have a “significant” impact on its business. Read more on Al Jazeera.
  • Politics and the virus continue to go hand in (sanitized) hand. Facebook, and Instagram, have said they will let US users turn off political ads. And the US President’s much-discussed first political rally, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, may have have its attendance numbers manipulated by K-Pop and TikTok fans.
  • Apple has been forced to close a number of its newly reopened US stores as virus numbers began to increase again there. More on CNBC.
  • Meanwhile as places of worship begin to start reopening around the world, the Guardian took a look at a number of religious influencers on Instagram, from the vegan Swedish priest to the Muslim chaplain raising awareness for his humanitarian work.

And, Finally

We’ll sign off with another wonderful contribution from at-home artists via Zoom. 38 Irish female musicians and singers have created a loving tribute to the Cranberries song "Dreams", while raising funds for an Irish domestic violence support organization.

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Emma Prunty
Emma Prunty

As the DMI's Content Editor Emma works to bring our members insightful and topical content every week. She has worked in digital everything for over 20 years, from New York to Oslo and Toronto to Dublin, and is always on the lookout for the latest currents of where things are going next. As producer of our popular podcast, winner of the 2023 Memcom Podcast Award, she's always happy to hear from anyone interested in coming on the show to share their expertise. She can be found on LinkedIn.

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