Top 3 New Consumer Trends to Look Out For
Consumers are looking at brands with a different lens: even with easing restrictions, the commercial world is unsure of what the future holds. Still, there are steps you can take to prepare your business for a post-Covid way of life, and it starts with analysing consumer trends that changed, and are here to stay.
The pandemic prompted unlikely demographics to try online shopping for the first time, oversaturating the digital market.
But will it remain so even after brick-and-mortar shops reopen?
Yes, and possibly even more so. E-commerce was already becoming the centrepiece of shopping experience, but the pandemic accelerated that into new consumer trend heights (UK digital revenue is up 17% across Q1, outperforming even the 2019 peak shopping period in terms of orders, revenue, and unique shoppers, according to the Salesforce Shopping Index).
With demographics now getting used to online convenience, new shopping behaviours are emerging that are likely to remain permanent.
For one, the thought of a second wave prompts leads to continued social distancing, which encourages online shopping. Two, as competition surges, businesses will continue to offer unique discounts, loyalty programs, promotions, inviting their clients to continue shopping this way.
Developing an online presence, mainly through social media, is not just a way to adapt to the new circumstances, but it also presents spectacular opportunities for international clientele.
Covid-19 ignited a sense of camaraderie to the local communities. According to a global survey by Ey, 42% of consumers believe the way they shop will fundamentally change. There is an increasing number of consumers leaning into shopping for local products (34%), trusted brands (25%) and ethical brands (23%).
For smaller, locally owned businesses, this particular consumer trend presents an opportunity to create long-term customer loyalty, mainly because the importance of small businesses won’t be taken for granted any more: almost one in three British consumers say they will visit local shops more frequently than they did before the crisis
Brands will need to explore ways to connect locally – be it through highlighting local provenance, customising for local needs or engaging in locally relevant ways.
Emotionally connecting with customers is the first step to bridging the gap, and outsourcing to those who are reluctant to shop outside their niches.
“It is likely that a decade’s worth of technological advancement, values and behavioural shifts will be compressed into the single year 2020 because of COVID-19.” – Anders Sörman-Nilsson
It’s safe, flexible, and cost-effective, so it’s no wonder that working remotely quickly prompted employees to question whether having an office is even necessary. Sure, on the one hand, it’s given corporate networks and internet service providers a real challenge.
Still, on the other, it also presented a surge of opportunity for businesses, particularly those in the tech sector.
Having no option but to work from home, consumers had to rely on many digital platforms, from entertainment providers to cloud-based communications and teleconferencing means. It catapulted tech giants into the winning zone, earning them the right to call themselves crucial players during the lockdown.
If the past few months proved anything, it’s that whether or not we ever go back to “normal” again, remote work revolution will be happening either way.
With more consumers choosing to work from home, businesses will have to welcome the technologies enabling this trend to better communicate with their leads (and look for new ones!).
Understandably, consumer priorities have changed, and trends in the market reflect that. With nobody to guarantee when or if “normal” will ever happen again, it is up to every business to listen and act upon their client needs – whether it’s revamping your online store, connecting with the community or finding ways to help those working from home.