If somebody told us that we would be spending a significant part of 2020 hoarding sanitizers and attending zoom calls, we would pass it for unrealistic. Little did we know that a month and a half into 2020 was enough to create a worldwide upheaval. All our plans have been postponed indefinitely, and we are spending an unforgivable amount of time online for things we would usually do in person.
But how does life proceed post-pandemic? Sure, it will not be eradicated immediately, but sooner or later our ‘normal’ routines will be resumed- only to witness how normal will not be the same as before.
The pandemic will continue to affect our lives years after the virus subsides, influencing minor and significant details of our conduct- whether it is the sudden dismissal of handshakes or how we choose to spend our money. As a result, marketers will have to understand the new consumer behavior and decode the definition of ‘normal’ after COVID-19 has hit us.
The exact picture of how life will proceed after the pandemic is unknown. But there are a few factors that can be kept in mind. Read on as we unfold for you the new ‘normal’ in society and how it shall affect consumer behavior.
The pandemic has hit each of us differently, making our individual financial conditions uniquely affected by the Covid19 pandemic. However, as people will slowly step into the idea of freedom again, many of them are likely to choose the path of gratification to treat themselves. The question is, however, to what extent? An excellent example to explain this would be how, after last year’s recession, the sale of premium ice creams increased substantially. The key is to provide affordable luxury for your customers in which they can indulge without having to burn a hole into their pockets. They might not want to sign a cheque for that expensive bottle of perfume, but they might happily get a Chanel soap instead.
Customers are expected to get more judicious in their spending. The lock down has shed light on what constitutes as essential and what all collects dust in our lives. This brings a new perspective to meaningfulness and how a customer will now see products. The pandemic has not been a ‘staycation’ for many. As people deal with lost homes, unpaid rents, pending salaries, and sudden unemployment- it is safe to say that customers will be shifting from conspicuous consumption to well-thought-out purchases.
With the newfound concern for health and wellness, the modes of consumption are going to shift. After the pandemic, the most likely successful enterprises would be alcohol, meditation and wellness, home fitness, online gaming, small packages, contactless services, publishing, online education, streaming platforms, etc. What’s striking in all of these is the fact that these are not the most popular preferences under normal circumstances. But again, we will be experiencing a normal like never before.
As the pandemic uproots our otherwise ‘secure’ plans, customers go the extra mile to educate and inform themselves. With every essential information and updates circulated online, the customer base is more aware than ever. Today, whether a customer intends to buy a car, hire a service, or get a nice meal, they are most likely to consider user reviews. What they consume through social media, website forums, online reviews, and internet research will profoundly influence their decision-making.
Now that we take note of the observable changes in consumer behavior, it is safe to assume that it is going to be a different world out there. Marketers from all fields will have to gear up and respond actively to this change. But how exactly are you going to respond?
- For starters, your campaign must have clarity of purpose. That is, communicate effectively what the brand vision and purpose is and how are you planning to deliver those successfully. Exceptional accessibility for the product, improved functionality, and excellent customer experience together form the basis of a sharp brand image.
- Another thing that your brand can benefit from is data integration. There is no formula to quantitatively assess the patterns and fluctuations in customer behavior, especially after the newfound priorities during and after the pandemic. A critical part of understanding consumers is accumulating the right data. This can include structured data like transaction records, as well as some of the unstructured data such as comments on online platforms, social media likes and dislikes, and brand sentiments. This data and its analysis will primarily guide you to form and offer personalized experiences to your customer.
With these considerations, you can be assured of what’s coming your way in the coming years. Don’t fret, everything is going to be just as usual, but it is the essence of such terms that have changed.