As cities around the world encourage citizens to stay at home to smooth the Coronavirus (COVID-19) curve, consumer habits are changing.
The way we socialize, eat, exercise, and most of all Business, are shifting. To better understand how consumer behavior and retail have changed, we conducted a survey to shed light on how shopping habits and priorities are evolving.
On March 17, 2020, we surveyed 2000 consumers between the ages of 14 and 73. 34% of respondents live in the United States, 34% in the United Kingdom and 33% in Canada. The respondents were equally divided between Gen Z (14-22), Millennials (23-38), Gen X (39-54) and Baby Boomers (55-74).
Among many emerging trends, here are some key insights for e-commerce marketers:
- Shopping behavior is beginning to develop and consumers are more responsive to marketing messages, including email, SMS marketing, social networking, and more.
- Consumers primarily value buying food, but also products that promote health and wellbeing, including dietary supplements, superfoods, and items like thermometers and medicines.
- If products are out of stock in stores, consumers will consider lesser known brands.
Shopping behavior begins to develop
Consumers are increasingly paying attention to marketing messages such as email, SMS, social ads and more (35.65%). They also surf more online (32.05%) and buy more online (25.35%).
If the problem persists, Almost half (43.20%) plan to shop more online.
Consumers want to spend less (56.75%) than more (23.65%) during this time, or they want to keep their typical spending (22.80%). Almost a third (31.7%) buy more online than in physical stores.
Survival needs are paramount for consumers
Among the product categories, groceries (78.8%) have the top priority on shopping lists: especially non-perishable foods such as canned goods (46.05%). As consumers spend more time indoors, they also plan to cook more often (50.95%).
Health and wellness products are also in the foreground (42.50%)Consumers report buying more personal disinfectants (40.15%), medical care products like thermometers (22.75%) and wellness items like vitamins, CBD and superfoods (21.60%).
Consumers buy too more household cleaning products (34.95%) and toilet paper (30.85%). Respondents also wrote that they wanted to buy water, camping gear, frozen foods, beer, and liquor.
Consumers care about availability
If products are not available, Many consumers said they would turn to lesser-known brands as options (40.55%). Some said they would wait for the store to replenish their favorite brands (33.85%) or try other stores (28.75%) to find them. Others opt for product update updates (17.50%).
What do these trends mean for your brand?
It is more important than ever to get in touch with your customers on a human level. Agree with their fears and concerns and offer value that goes beyond your products. Here are three strategies to keep in mind during this time:
Invest in the right kind of marketing
Right now, it’s important to focus on creating content that really adds value to consumers. From entertaining videos to informative blog posts to open communication channels that make your brand and team more accessible, such as Slack channels, Instagram Live and SMS marketingNow it’s more important than ever to deepen your relationship with your community.
Optimize the experience of your customers on site
Your website is more than ever the main channel for your brand. Use the possibilities of user-generated content and customer feedback to build trust in these times. A steady stream of new and authentic reviews is especially important for buyers.
Create a sense of community around your brand by encouraging your customers to share their visual content during this time. Encourage your customers to leave new reviews explaining how they use your product at home and then publish their content in a special widget or gallery on your website. Or send SMS messages to loyalty members who forward them to their favorite products with a special, time-critical offer. You can find more strategies for contacting your customers in our Inspiration gallery.
With more consumers shopping onlineIf you pay more attention to marketing messages, your brand should be careful to create personalized experiences on site that will always bring customers back.
Expand your brand community
During this time, think of your brand from the perspective of your customers – as people, we all experience this unprecedented global experience together.
Right now people are taking care of food and they plan to cook more often – if it feels authentic, your team may be able to share favorite recipes or cooking videos. Or because it’s important to people to be productive from home, your brand can offer productivity hacks, healthy snack ideas, or makeup tips to help you look great on video calls. People invest in their health and well-being. Perhaps you can share your list of the most trusted supplements and offer a free meditation lesson at lunchtime. Above all, let your brand be human – we are all in the same boat.
In times like these, it is the connections we have to the people around us, from far and wide, that keep us on the ground. Your community is the link for your brand, and it is important that you keep an eye on the customer experience, not only during this difficult time.
Would you like to learn more?
You can find more results of this survey in our report: COVID-19: Consumer Trends by Generation and Geography.
We’ll develop more customer retention strategies, so stay tuned. In the meantime, are here 15 strategies to engage your customers during the COVID-19 period. For more information on Yotpo’s business continuity efforts, see a note from our CEO and co-founder Tomer Tagrin, Here.
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