Will consumer behaviour ever be the same again?
I think it’s safe to say everyone’s a bit sick of Covid-19 by now. I know we’d all much rather be basking in the sun, on a white sandy beach, with a drink in our hands instead of having to ‘stay alert’ when wanting to nip to the shops for a few bits.
But… Let’s face it, Covid-19 has had a monumental impact on our everyday lives. Whether it’s the way we go to work (or not work in a lot of cases), how we buy food, how we entertain ourselves, Covid-19 has totally changed the way we once consumed everyday essentials.
We’ve quickly had to learn how to adapt and yes, it may not have been ideal or at times easy, but we’ve done it out of necessity. Even after everything dies down and we begin to move on with our lives, you have to ask yourself…Is this new normal here to stay? How will all of this impact how we do thing’s long after ‘lockdown’?
It would be naive to believe that these changing human attitudes aren’t likely to continue on some level and as a result, the requirement for organisations to respond and transform alongside them still stands.
In the first part of our two-part feature, we’re looking at the key behavioural trends that have emerged recently which businesses will need to listen, learn and respond to in order to obtain a competitive advantage.
It’s virtual man
Lockdown has completely changed the way in which we go out and consume products. This is because of a. There’s still this uncertainty of going out full stop due to the invisible potential threat from seeing people and b. In-person experiences whilst social distancing aren’t the same and aren’t as enjoyable. It’s been made apparent over the recent month’s that many people who hadn’t already adopted digital fully are now having to. Virtual experiences are now skyrocketing ahead for all and Covid-19 is the catalyst for what it seems to be a more permanent shift online.
The meaning of life
Through self-isolation and studying/working remotely, many consumers are reassessing what life means to them and what’s important. Many are prioritising finding new ways to satisfy their need for “real” experiences through virtual drinks, quizzes, phone calls to family and friends over craving the urge to purchase material things. Social distancing in many ways has led to an alternative means of social intimacy. When restrictions are lifted and greater freedom is returned, could this trend of virtual content or routines continue to take permanent residence in our everyday lives?
Home is where the heart is
Over these recent month’s, it’s become apparent even more so that our homes are the epicentre of our lives. The surge in home-spending through DIY, household items and home entertainment has showcased the importance to many of making a home a home. The patterns we’re seeing seem to indicate that people will want to continue putting back into their homes post lockdown and as a result, give precedence to spend locally, through local businesses over globally.
Looking after number one
People have had more time to look after themselves during the pandemic and therefore haven’t felt the need to be ashamed to put themselves first. They’ve had to learn new ways to adapt to the situation; whether it be online shopping, online workouts, self-education and reappraising their work-life balance. What’s to say that after lockdown is over, the rise in more people adopting a look-after-yourself-first policy won’t continue?
If you wanted to change you would
Covid-19 has showcased how nimble we are and how we have the ability to quickly adapt when required to. It’s allowed us to reflect on our priorities and realise how easily we can develop new habits and methods which permit us to live and work in more environmentally sustainable ways. Because of this, people may be reluctant to fully revert back to how it was before and instead adapt to the social pressure to act and live responsibly.
So…What does all this actually mean then?
Overall, the recent major shifts in behaviour indicate how digital-first needs to become more of a focus than it once was and offering consumers the same experiences online as they would receive offline is imperative for survival.
Covid-19 may have fast-tracked the way businesses are adapting, but is more important than ever to streamline the hurdles of going virtual and understanding the consumer. Now’s the time to re-evaluate your customer’s behaviours and attitudes so you can reappraise your marketing strategy. As with all marketing, it’s a continual analysis of how we do things and how we change to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers. Current times have once again jolted us all into action to review what we do and how we do it.
For us personally, as we do with any new client, we know the importance of getting under the skin of the business through our Gravity method to support our client’s strategic approach to marketing but it’s now time to re-evaluate all our strategic approaches to get back under the skin of the changing consumer.