All over the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic and following lockdowns have radically changed the everyday consumer behaviour. People are living in a different way, buying differently and in numerous ways, thinking differently. Supply chains have been weathered. Digital is making a significant impact on brands and businesses during this time.
The pandemic has brought two major shifts in customer behaviour:
- The unwillingness to shop in a crowded store.
- Increased inclination towards digital.
People are shifting to online due to the closure of retail brands and consumers are preferring to stay at home. It has become essential for the brands to create an experience that could engage their visitors. With the current consumer behaviour, the brands need to build trust and create long-term revenues.
Current Consumer behaviour scenario due to Covid-19
Today, businesses are relying heavily on digital platforms and digital marketing services to accomplish their goals. The pandemic has made a deep impact on consumers. Now they are increasingly using digital platforms for their day to day activities.
According to a survey by NRF, some of the key changes are:
- 9 in 10 consumers have changed their traditional shopping practice.
- Over 50% of consumers have ordered products online that they would in general purchase at the store.
- 60% of consumers said that they are sceptical about going to any retail store due to the fear of being infected.
Although some of these changes are temporary in consumer behaviour, others may be permanent. As the people move beyond, the adoption of digital will become permanent. According to a report by Accenture, “new habits formed now will last beyond this crisis, permanently changing what we value, how and where we shop, and how we live and work”.
As more consumers are shopping online to stay safe, they will certainly adjust to searching and buying products online.
People have started believing that the way of shopping will change permanently in future. Hence, it’s time for the retailers to look ahead to the new shopping habits of customers, post-covid. Many customers will remember and value retailers and consumer goods companies. They have met the actual needs and established a relationship during these times. This gives a chance of arousing long-term loyalty.
Consumer behaviour in the digital world
Digital commerce has also seen an increase as new customers migrated online for grocery and other shopping. This increase will probably sustain post-outbreak. In this critical time, almost every generation went on digital platforms/channels. People wish to keep themselves distracted/informed/buy during the lockdown. We are seeing customers spending a lot of their time on digital platforms. It brings a huge opportunity for marketers to cater to both B2B and B2C segments of their industry to tap and engage with potential customers. In fact, with the help of digital marketing, it has become easier for businesses to reach out to their audience. Businesses are helping consumers with their needs better than ever before. This is creating a positive impact on consumer behaviour all over.
In short, the Covid-19 outbreak and 2020 will mark a shifting point for the adoption of e-commerce and mobile commerce platforms. It is not just limited till shopping but includes various fields like working online, learning from home, healthy and well being, communication, entertainment and play etc. Although stores across all industries are opening, the benefits of digital shopping are alluring consumers and becoming a habit for a broader set of consumers.
The important questions:
Will this impact last for long-term or will it be temporary?
Will people come back to offline channels or has the pandemic accelerated the shift to digital?
What will the digital world look like in future?
Brand Digital Strategy for Consumer Behaviour with the new normal:
Even if the world is opening up gradually, we all know that Covid-19 will stay in our lives for a while. From the initial phase where people struggled to buy only essentials till now when people are safely moving out of their houses for work, businesses have a lot to learn from consumer behaviour. With the ease involved in digital, it is possible that people will start loving this easy way of getting things done.
Hence, the brands have to be ready with their brick and mortar stores but also need a rigid digital presence. Several domains have seen significant growth in their online customer base during the pandemic. This is a major factor that should encourage more and more brands to come online.
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Brand Presence for Loyalty
According to a report by Mckinsey, over 60 % of global consumers have changed their shopping behaviour focusing on convenience and value. Availability, easy access, cost and quality are some factors that have convinced several loyal brand customers to try out new brands. Strong brand presence and digital marketing play a key role in such consumer behaviour.
People tend to be inclined towards products and services that they see often. As internet usage has increased during the pandemic, having an end-to-end digital strategy to create a brand presence is a must. Right from entertainment till daily needs, we are moving to OTT platforms than the traditional movie theatres, we choose online delivery over visiting marketing. It is essential for both safety and convenience. As a brand, it is your chance to create your presence and build a loyal customer base.
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