The onset of COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways. Being at home during lockdown has had a significant impact on our lifestyle. With everything functioning and being executed at ease and comfort from home, consumer behavior has undergone a drastic change and will only continue to evolve further. It includes how we behave, do shopping, our working pattern, and even our means of entertainment. Online shopping was an already growing trend before the pandemic but now is developing faster than predicted thanks to the demand of shoppers stuck indoors.
Online retail and e-commerce are booming, and the development of marketing strategies for these sectors has also followed suit. As new businesses are moving towards focusing their efforts on online sales, there has been a growing need for professional consultation in digital and social media services. The sea of e-commerce is wide and vast, while consumer attention moves quickly from one platform to the next. PR agencies like Piccolo PR that have experience working together with online retailers and e-commerce sites can help develop powerful digital marketing strategies for your business to keep up with moving trends of consumer behavior during the COVID-19 epidemic.
The pandemic has influenced and shifted consumer behavior significantly in the following ways:
- Consumers have become tech-savvy – No matter the age group, demographic, or background, people worldwide are becoming more familiar with online platforms and the digital world. As everything has begun to move towards online operation, there is no choice left but to engage with businesses and other services online to continue our everyday lives. From shopping for groceries to education, the digital world has allowed us to continue working from home. There has been an enormous increase of digital consumers that is only expected to grow further.
- Change in priorities – Covid-19 has affected the world in many ways and allowed us all to understand and differentiate between materialistic happiness and the things that are truly important in life. This difficult period has made us realize the importance of our loved ones, our family, and friends who form our support system through thick and thin. The declining economy and lack of income have led to people being more mindful about how and where they spend their money. Data has found that consumers are mainly spending on necessities and essential services during the period, as the lack of stable income has made us realize that our wants and needs are two separate entities.
- Shifting brand loyalties – The pandemic disrupted certain brands and their product dissemination. Many businesses suffered setbacks that led to consumers choosing other products and brands which were more accessible. There has been a growing increase in consumers’ shifting loyalty to different products or services from their everyday purchasing habits. Rather than opting for their favorite brand, consumers focus on readily available products of good quality and affordability.
- Opting for sustainability – COVID-19 has also begun to magnify a growing consumer trend for sustainability. Today, many consumers look for products that are not single-use, recyclable, and or help to protect the environment. They are trying to buy from environmentally friendly brands that do not threaten nature or animals. Vegan and plant-based products are also trending and have gained immense popularity worldwide. Consumers are becoming more acutely aware that life is precious, and all of us can only live in harmony if we respect the environment in which we live.
- Focus on health and hygiene – Consumers have become more careful about which retailers they purchase from with consideration stemming from social distancing policies and the spread of the virus. Customers want to make sure that all packaging has been done with workers keeping in mind the physical and safety barriers. The threat of the pandemic has indeed made consumers think twice before buying anything. Retailer and brand trust follow when businesses prove that they are following safety measures and demonstrating concern and care for both their employees and the customers.
- Love for local produce – It cannot be denied that the hard times have motivated consumers to support the local brands and products. People are aware of the negative impact on small businesses and feel that helping the local community flourish would be the first step towards mitigating the pandemic’s negative consequences.
- Increased reliance on digital media – Staying at home during this pandemic has made consumers progressively dependent on online media consumption for entertainment. Connecting with family and friends, working from home, shopping, and playing games, people rely on digital media for everything. It remains to be seen what the situation will be once the world gets back to normal. Will work from home become a new fad and continue to stay in place? Will people continue to shop online with the same enthusiasm and dedication later on, as well? At Piccolo PR, we will continue to cover topics where public relations, digital marketing, and the latest trends collide.