Recently, the Governor of Florida declared that the mask mandate will soon be dropped statewide. This is just the latest news in a year of people desperately trying to return to “normal.” However, the long-term alteration of consumer behavior and attitudes is very likely to have an ongoing impact on digital marketing strategies, and Planned Growth has been paying close attention to help our clients navigate this new world.
What follows are the five most prominent shifts in consumer behavior post pandemic:
1. Work at Home, Play at Home, Stay at Home
In a recent interview with CNBC’s Closing Bell, Hershey CEO Michele Buck observed that “stay-at-home trends are outlasting the pandemic.” And she is not alone. Forbes has even gone on record to say that almost three-in-four consumers are hesitant to resume regular activities outside the home.
The fact is, after spending the better part of a year at home for both work and virtually all activities, usage of popular online entertainment platforms has skyrocketed and consumers remain hesitant to reengage with normalcy by going into the office, using public transportation, or traveling, let along going to a hair salon, restaurant, the movies, or the gym. It is very possible consumer behavior never returns to “normal,” even after the coronavirus is a thing of the past. Everyone’s marketing plans should be geared to accommodate such a possibility.
2. Localized Marketing is Becoming Key
For the first time in recent memory, more consumers are moving out of urban areas, preferring the suburbs and rural regions to living in crowded cities. And 2/3rds of consumers are now shopping primarily in neighborhood stores or buying more locally sourced products. If these trends continue (and they appear to be), localized marketing is bound to become more prominent. Personalizing your content will be critical in strengthening the connection to your audience, and localization drives marketing automation and data mining as you look to improve ROI.
3. Digital Shopping Is Not Going Anywhere
E-commerce and omnichannel services were on the rise before the pandemic, but social distancing and stay-at-home recommendations have forced entire consumer demographics to shop differently. Post-outbreak, data suggests an increase in e-commerce purchases by as much as 169% (mostly from new or low-frequency users). Most consumers who have already increased their use of services such as home delivery, curbside pickup, or purchasing from social media platform links, project to maintain these habits well into the future.
4. Decreasing Global Footprints and Direct Customer Interactions
While some decry the loss of interconnectivity, many consumers intend to continue such contactless activities as self-checkouts and curbside pickups. That said, single-use packaging continues to be popular, at the expense of reusable packaging, which makes maintaining sustainability a tricky goal. Yet, surprisingly, most consumers *want* corporations to continue to stay committed to long-term decarbonization. When you need help trying to reach customers who want to avoid crowds but are concerned about the long-term health of the planet, call Planned Growth. We have some ideas.
5. Brand Loyalty Is Not What It Used to Be
Brand loyalty may be one of the more surprising casualties of Covid-19. Nearly half of all consumers are now willing to try new brands, while a third are including new private-label brands into their weekly shopping lists. Bottom line: Shoppers are migrating between brands, and the recovery cycle will favor the brands that increase promotional activity and reinforce relationships with their consumers. Trends point to an increase in loyalty and retention marketing expenses with a reduction in product or performance-based marketing, for what appear to be excellent reasons.
Such transformative changes require all of us to reconsider what we know about consumer changes and the best ways to reach and engage them. All businesses are now consumed with how to accommodate the changes to how people live, work, and shop, and Planned Growth is ready to ensure your brand is agile, innovative, and ready to experiment in what is now a constantly evolving marketing landscape. Give us a call at 800-625-GROW or get in touch here and a marketing engagement expert will reach back out to you ASAP!