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How COVID Has Affected Shopping Behaviors

  • 3 min read

 

Globally, we have all been affected, one way or another, by the COVID-19 pandemic.  As we get to the point of reopening the economy, the question arises...What does this mean for future shopping behavior?


The last 2 months have been strange and different for everyone.  We have all gone through a time where we’ve had to adapt to a different type of lifestyle.  As a result, our behaviors have shifted and so have our shopping habits.  From bulk-buying to online shopping, people have adjusted what they’ve bought, when, and how they’ve bought it.  So, will these same habits continue?


We as a society have changed.  Our frame of mind has changed.  And the longer it takes for life to go back to as-normal-as-it-can-be, the longer we are impacted and the longer our psyches will be affected.  


Has this pandemic accelerated the structural shift we have seen from retail to online shopping over the past handful of years?  Will we start to see even more direct to consumer business models and even less department stores?  What mood will our customers be in when this all subsides?  Will there be a higher post-isolation consumption or is there a new appreciation for spending less?  There are so many questions.


But whatever the post-COVID-19 consumers choose to do, don’t be surprised.  As we start to witness this for ourselves, as an eCommerce business owner keep these pointers in mind:


Consider how this crisis will continue to change future social interactions, personal contact, new lifestyles and events.  We’re entering a post COVID-19 world and we need to understand what products and services will better serve our customers.  New behaviors and habits inherited over the past few months, have been normalized due to repetition.  This requires new or modified products and services.  Will you modify your current product or service or will you emerge as a new market leader?


You have to continue to be proactive and positive.  Get to know your customers all over again.  Learn to meet their new needs, because for many, these have altered.  Understand what changes have occurred and will continue to occur for customers.  Ask your customers what they need.  Send out surveys, conduct new market research, request customer feedback.  Get to know what is most valuable to them now.


Remember, with change comes opportunity.  Don’t just stick to your pre-COVID-19 customer base.  Continue to grow your audience.  Consumers will be looking at brands to redefine their trust.  Did the companies they support pre-COVID-19 handle the pandemic well with relation to their business and treatment of employees?  Did those that remained open hurt their reputations?


Right now, customers are not as brand loyal as they usually are.  According to McKinsey & Company, currently there is a rise in product switching.  Their research found that:

  • 30% - 40% of consumers have been trying new brands and products
  • Almost half of these consumer switches were because desired products were unavailable
  • 19% decided to purchase cheaper available options
  • 12% expect to continue to purchase the new brands after the pandemic

...so take advantage of this.


As an eCommerce business owner, getting back on track to where your business was, won’t come easy.  It will take some time and will require a positive outlook along with hard work.  Focus on providing value to your customers and meeting their adjusted needs.  Be the solution to their crisis.  The revenue and profit will follow.  


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IWD Agency offers online business solutions that help maximize the retailer’s consumer base with a professional website, online branding, marketing, and optimizing the overall customer retail experience. Discover the true value of your brand with professional solutions offered by experts in the online retail industry. IWD Agency YouTube channel is focused on providing quality content information, news, tips, tricks and much more.

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