The pandemic has transformed our lives in just about every conceivable way.
It’s little wonder, therefore, that these upheavals have resulted in drastic changes to online behaviours, the downstream effects of which will be played out over many years to come.
One thing to keep in mind is that in many instances, the trends that we’ve seen post-COVID were already in place before the pandemic took hold.
Lockdowns and other restrictions seem to have merely accelerated patterns that were already in motion, albeit at a much slower pace.
A fantastic Mckinsey & Company report describes this phenomenon as us having experienced “a decade in days” in terms of the exponentially accelerated rate of change over a comparatively short period of time.
One thing that is certain is that consumer’s digital behaviour patterns have not and won’t be linear going forward.
We’ve seen changes instituted as a direct result of health concerns, lockdowns and restrictions, but whether or not these changes ‘stick’ to become the new normal will rely to a degree on consumers’ level of satisfaction.
Savvy marketers can face these changes head-on, address new realities and adjust their approaches to directly target new opportunities and to assist consumers along their new digital decision journeys.
Perhaps the biggest impact for many individuals since the pandemic hit is the way that they, and their families, are spending their days.
Remote work and homeschooling rates are through the roof. Video conferencing company Zoom saw sales increase 326% in 2020, with continued growth this year.
With people spending more time at home and less time out and about, it’s clear why on-the-go spending has decreased.
Marketers looking to capitalise on the changed economy would do well to focus on digital advertising that consumers can view at home on their screens, rather than print and out of home advertising.
Consumers have changed where they’re engaging, so switched-on companies will be meeting consumers where they are.
The surge in online shopping and all forms of e-commerce has been astronomical.
The uptick in online engagement combined with lockdowns and restrictions forcing changes in consumer behaviour proving a death knell for many brick and mortar institutions.
While it’s been hard yards for many smaller players, name brands and companies with established digital trading platforms have seen stability and even periods of relative growth.
The shake-up in consumer behaviour has seen a sharp progression in trends that were already well underway.
The likelihood of current buying patterns remaining in place after restrictions are lifted will be determined almost entirely by how well marketers and companies serve consumers.
Companies that can reallocate resources in order to support customers’ digital shopping journeys, offering seamless, user-friendly interfaces and well-targeted digital advertising will see many new customers stick around as the economy normalises.
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