5 trends in consumer behaviour
5 trends in consumer behaviour
The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced some major changes in consumer behaviour, and many of them are here to stay. As a business, it is important to be aware of these developments to ensure your future success. After having to make quick transitions at the beginning of the pandemic to continue serving customers, B2C organisations are seeing consumers not only prefer these new methods, but also expect more from them. We’ve outlined 5 trends in consumer behaviour that are here to stay:
It’s no secret that almost all businesses transitioned their focus online as much as possible at the start of the pandemic. The closures of nearly all shops forced organisations to develop their online presence as fast as possible in order to survive. Although consumers are largely glad to have the freedom of physical shopping again, it doesn’t look like consumerism will return to its pre-pandemic nature. The ease and speed of e-commerce, which has only improved alongside digital innovations (also fuelled by the pandemic), means most consumers prefer making purchases online and having them delivered. This is especially true with the availability of next day delivery and easy returns. In person shopping has become more of a social activity, with online shopping being used for deliberate purchasing.
Conscience & Values
Consumers are demonstrating more socially conscious behaviour. We’ve seen brands called out for operating irresponsibly and consumers opting for brands whose values align better with their own. This has filtered down to a focus on supporting local and independently owned businesses. The pandemic saw a nationwide plea from small businesses to help them survive by shopping with them rather than large corporations. This bought about a heightened sense of awareness from knowingly helping others during a difficult time, a common theme throughout the last 18 months. This has continued even now restrictions are lifting. As a result, consumers have a more socially responsible mentality and give more consideration to which organisations they are willing to support.
Environmental consciousness is also increasing with many consumers willing to pay more and go out of their way to source sustainable products. The rise in online shopping has made this difficult due to the additional packaging required and the carbon footprint that accompanies delivery. However technological developments are improving ecommerce sustainability. This, coupled with a demand for transparency has put pressure on organisations to meet consumer expectations by investing in and revaluating their supply chain.
Another trend which lends itself to the pandemic is well-being. As many people struggled with the various aspects of lockdown, mental and physical well-being has become more important than ever before. Consumers are investing more in their health and are giving more priority to goods and services that will better impact their well-being.
After a huge shift to digital communication over the pandemic, a large number of consumers prefer to receive communications and updates regarding their purchases via text or email. However, some do feel more comfortable with calls and interactive customer service. The use of other platforms such as social media have also increased in importance. Consumers value social media platforms as reference points as they play a significant role in brand personality. They also allow consumers to read reviews and discuss products/services with others. In order to remain available to all demographics, omnichannel flexibility is required. This highlights the importance of organisations having communication options across all channels.