Knowing who your customers are is great, but knowing how they behave is even better.
“Customer is the King” is a clichéd term, yet it stands true. The first step in making your customers happy is to exceed their expectations. And, for that, knowing their expectations is important. This pandemic has taught us new ways of doing things in everyday life. It has also helped us charter into a ‘New Normal’. So, how are the consumers behaving in this new normal?
Few key factors influencing consumer behaviour
Consumers are increasingly shopping online, prioritising hygiene and looking for sustainable and cost-friendly options. With this change in buyer behaviour, the retail landscape needs to change and adapt to be #FutureReady.
Here’s a peek into what you can expect:
- Digital Acceleration
Digital is here to stay. Retailers across the world have realised this now more than ever. With the new practice of social distancing, digital commerce has seen an unprecedented growth in the past few months. Even before the pandemic, consumers across the world had adopted digital significantly. Books, entertainment, consumer electronics, apparel – you can have it delivered at your doorstep just by the click of a button. As a result, retailers are forced to adopt cloud solutions to retain customers and survive in these testing times.
This trend is set to continue in the future and will have significant implications for retailers. The digital grocery orders are less profitable than traditional in-store shopping trips for retailers. Yet another challenge is that the digital experience is not suitable for impulse buys, immediate consumption purchases, or new product trials. Retailers will have to devise new online methods to recreate these traditional factors influencing consumer behaviour.
- Psychological reactions to COVID-19
If coronavirus has scared you to touch just about anything in public, you are not alone. The health crisis has made consumers more germ cautious than ever before. Contactless no-touch delivery is the new customer shopping trend. Consumers might not even encourage in-store food sampling or use public touch screens or keypads for a long time. Retailers will need to develop and create no-touch customer experiences with an emphasis on hygiene.
- Brand Loyalty
During the advent of the pandemic, when confronted with the reality of necessity v/s brand loyalty, consumers chose the former. Brand loyalty might become a thing of the past. Voices of the leaders in a country like India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sounding the bugle for ‘Vocal for Local’, is bound to have an impact on how consumers behave. Consumers are purchasing locally-made products more, which they consider being safer. Retailers need to develop new strategies for collaborating with local businesses to retain their customers by leveraging this modern consumer behaviour.
- Economic Implications
The economy across the world has entered a recession during the pandemic. Morgan Stanley and the Goldman Sachs Group warned of a record plunge in output during the second quarter in the US that could lead to a deeper global recession.
What does this mean for retailers? Consumers’ spending and purchasing power will take a huge hit. Even after the economy rebounds, it might take a while for the consumers to recover due to the "economic scarring. "
In an ecosystem where the world around is changing and so is the consumer buying behaviour, retailers must devise a culture that seamlessly brings together customer preferences and latest technologies. They need to create innovative experiences to meet customer needs that are engaging, accessible, valuable and #FutureReady.