While businesses are in a mad scrum for online visibility after closing their doors on the high street, getting ahead of the curve has never been more important. This is where reactive marketing comes in.

You may have heard the term, ‘reactive marketing’, before and if you’re a business with an e-commerce platform, now is the time to understand what it means and how it can help you during this time of uncertainty.

What is Reactive Marketing?

The reactive marketing definition from the Oxford Dictionary is as follows:

‘Marketing that is done as a reaction to a particular situation, or to what your competitors are doing.’

All over the world businesses are trying their best to stay afloat as the economy and market are impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus. And some companies are rising to the challenge by adjusting the sails of their marketing efforts and changing tack to stay relevant. 

Reactive Marketing Examples

We’ve scoured the internet and found 10 top examples of reactive marketing from companies that have had to close their stores and rely solely on e-commerce to bring in revenue. If you haven’t refreshed your website in an attempt to be reactive to our new reality, what are you waiting for? Here are some ideas to inspire you and show you that you don’t need reams of copy to pack a punch. A spark of creativity and quippy content could be all it takes to stand out.

Free People

Selling whimsical and free-spirited apparel when your customers are in lockdown isn’t easy. That’s why Free People has made a smart move by changing its homepage to showcase loungewear to stay relevant while its customers are all stuck at home. The copy is clever and fun, adding some light relief to this situation. The same can be said for their activewear campaign further down the page. While not endorsing attending the gym or spending lengthy time outdoors, Free People offer clothing solutions for short bursts of outdoor activity, in line with government guidelines.

Free People Reactive eCommerce
Free People Reactive eCommerce

Free People recognises a global demand for comfortable work-from-home wear, while also expressing optimism by marketing summer wear, accompanied by the hopeful ‘for sunnier days ahead’ slogan.

Free People Reactive eCommerce
Images sourced from Free People


Although ASOS has always been online-based, its competition is now even stronger since all clothing stores should be focusing their efforts on e-commerce. In a similar vein to Free People, ASOS is featuring loungewear for comfortable quarantining, cosmetics for at-home self-care, homewares, and activewear for your ‘front room gym’.

reactive marketing
Images sourced from ASOS

Molton Brown

Molton Brown thrives as a store in its own right, as well as at department store counters. While the brand has a loyal customer base, it also relies on new customers testing the products instore and being impressed by the beautiful fragrances. While you could say that Molton Brown is now limited to an online platform, the marketing team has made the best out of it by finding a creative way to appeal to their customer’s senses through the computer screen. The hero video, showcasing the new line, is packed full of texture, and the plush fibres are blown by a gentle breeze as a video effect. If it was ever possible to feel softness though a screen, Molton Brown has nailed it, leaving customers dreaming about indulgent body lotion after a decadent bath.

Subliminally, Molton Brown has also left a range of handwash underneath the hero image, reminding customers that it’s possible to add a little luxury to their new stringent handwashing regime.

Video sourced from Molton Brown

Look Fantastic

As hair salons and nail parlours shut up shop around the country, the desire for great hair and polished nails hasn’t waned and Look Fantastic are making the most of this opportunity. The trending products are carefully placed to help customers conceal the roots that will inevitably appear over the coming weeks, enjoy lavish aromas from their hand-wash, and indulge in their own at-home manicures. A strategic feature on the ‘at-home beauty essentials’ also appeals to the stir-crazy individuals who would like to invest in some self-care at this stressful time.

reactive marketing examples
Image sourced from Look Fantastic

John Lewis

John Lewis may have had to close its stores with beautiful show areas, but their marketing team has made the best of a bad situation with the site’s new hero image, encouraging customers to browse their products and create a home haven while they weather the COVID-19 storm.

John Lewis Covid-Friendly Hero Image
Image sourced from John Lewis

Sweaty Betty

While Sweaty Betty relies on outdoorsy and active types to build up their collection of fitness gear, the new lockdown puts a dampener on budding athletes who want to train at the gym or outdoors. No gym? No problem. Sweaty Betty has switched its message to appeal to seasoned gym-goers and beginners alike, by targeting anyone investing in a home fitness routine.

reactive marketing
Sourced from Sweaty Betty


H&M has adopted a holistic approach to selling a lifestyle and vibe to aspire to, rather than marketing a group of specific products. The hero image leads the user to a page with a collection of loungewear, homewares, and kids’ pyjamas. Rather than asking the user what it wants, H&M is telling its customers what they need by creating a beautifully curated edit to help them achieve a cosy and tranquil home setting during this season of self-isolation.

H&M Reactive Marketing
Image sourced from H&M


Nike is known for its motivational, challenging and sometimes political campaigns, and the latest homepage doesn’t shy away from setting the record straight. True to its brand, Nike’s products are iconic enough that they can afford to make a provocative statement about the importance of staying inside to save lives while empowering the user at the same time.

Image sourced from Nike


IKEA is renowned for its interactive store layout and over the years, a trip to IKEA has been seen as more of an outing or activity than just furniture shopping. Now the doors to the famous furniture store are closed, IKEA is relying on online conversions more than ever. People all over the globe are using their newfound time at home to purge and reorganise, a la Marie Kondo, and IKEA isn’t missing a trick by positioning organisational tools at the top of the homepage.

Ikea Reactive eCommerce
Image sourced from IKEA

The Savoy

The Savoy is taking a different approach to its neighbouring London hotels. Unlike the Ritz and The Ned, the Savoy isn’t just listing information about closures but is appealing to a more emotional and sentimental side of their prospective guests. By instilling a message of hope and strength over an overlay of London by night, the Savoy website promotes a feeling of solidarity and reassurance that normal life will resume one day and that the Savoy will open its doors once again, welcoming new guests and retaining its status as a leading London hotel. This hero image is carefully placed above the booking tool, encouraging users to enquire about availability for future bookings.

The Savoy Reactive Marketing Example
Image sourced from The Savoy

So, what can you do to become reactive with your marketing strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic and the national lockdown? Is there an angle or approach you can take that will position your services or products in a way that will serve and equip your clients in a new way in this unprecedented time? Our recent blog post shows you 7-steps for how to be seen online during COVID-19.

For more help with your digital marketing strategy, we have a long track record of helping business be seen and get found online. We’d love to chat about how we can help you in this challenging time. Check out our case studies and feel free to contact us.