COVID-19 has had a momentous effect on all aspects of daily life. Shifts in societal norms and economic stress have resulted in many consumers adopting a series of new or renewed behaviors. After adjusting habits and priorities for more than four months, consumers are not likely to quickly abandon the habits they have heavily relied on to get through these difficult times. Here are five consumer habits that should continue to shape how marketers and brands interact with audiences in 2020.
#1 Baby Boomers & Older Generations Will Complete More Purchases Online.
The values, priorities and sentiments of each generation are heavily shaped by their experiences. A heightened need to stay indoors amidst health concerns drove Baby Boomers and older consumers online for their daily purchases. The effects of the coronavirus may cause Baby Boomers to embrace online shopping in new ways and adopt these behaviors permanently. Additionally, electronic payment methods are becoming the preferred option among many consumer segments.
- Coronavirus May Shift Older Generations To Online Shopping
- From Boomers To Gen Z, Credit Cards Reign As Preferred Method Of Payment
#2 Consumer Purchases Will Be Driven By Discounts, Access To Alternative Payment Methods And Optionality That Enhances The Online Shopping Experience.
Many businesses were forced to shut down as a result of COVID-19, and unemployment rates surged. Consumers transitioned from shopping in-store to shopping online for everything from fashion to groceries. Economic downturns traditionally spur increased consumer demand for discount and coupon offers, and 2020 was no different. In addition to seeking promo codes, consumers also began embracing alternative payment methods and sought out optionality during online checkouts.
- Discounts And Downturns: The Power Of Digital Coupons On Consumer Spending.
- BNPL Gains Traction With Consumers & Merchants During COVID-19
- How Millennials Are Saving And Spending Their Money
#3 Consumers Will Maintain New Grocery-Related Shopping Habits And Values.
Stay-at-home orders drove most consumers to replace dining out with cooking and consuming most meals at home. The renewed need to prepare meals at home catapulted in-store and online grocery sales. In addition to the growth of grocery purchases overall, many consumers who were once making food decisions based on nutrition and quality altered their priorities to value availability, affordability and the convenience of a longer shelf life. As a result, processed foods and CPG pantry items experienced spikes in sales. Subscription boxes also attracted new audiences who sought the benefits of convenience and predictability, particularly related to food and beverage purchases.
- Processed Foods Appeal To Anxious Shoppers Looking For Comfort During Quarantine
- Consumer Spending Habits Shift In Response To New Norms
- Big Box Stores See Uptick In Ecommerce Sales
- Online Grocery Ordering Trends Evolve During Quarantine
- Cereal, Soup & Condiment Marketing: CPG Products Build Loyalty From Turmoil
- Subscription Boxes Experience Growth Amidst Coronavirus.
#4 Consumers Will Increase Expectations For Brands To Exhibit Social Responsibility.
COVID-19 became a period of necessary empathy and compassion. As consumers navigated new norms, they sought goods and services from brands that exhibited a commitment to social responsibility. During a time of crisis, brands that offered assistance and displayed authenticity, sincerity, good will and compassion toward their customers were welcomed. In addition to quality, consumers are increasing their prioritization of brands that align with their values.
- Brands Take Social Responsibility Seriously During Coronavirus Crisis
- Giving Back To The LGBTQ Community Is Focus Of 2020 Pride Marketing Campaigns
- Gender Diversity In Marketing Is An Important And Growing Consideration For Advertiser
- Brands Need To Be Sincere And Thoughtful In Their Responses To BLM Protests
#5 Consumers Will Display Heightened Value & Need For At-Home Activities, Fun And Leisure.
Activities reserved for fun, sports, exercise and leisure are returning to American homes and backyards as people avoid crowds. Periods of self isolation and restricted access to gyms and similar fitness-related businesses entice consumers to take virtual fitness classes and purchase in-home gym equipment. Sales of pools and other outdoor toys and sporting equipment soared as many consumers battled boredom and sought at-home entertainment. Sports that encouraged safe social distancing like golf also saw upticks in consumer participation and related sales. The already booming video game market drew even larger audiences.
- Pools And Outdoor Toy Sales Are Gaining Popularity During Quarantine
- In-Home Fitness Brands See Opportunities To Grow Subscriber Bases During Quarantine
- Golf Marketing Tees Up For Success & Draws In New Audiences During Social Distancing
- Ready Player One: The Booming Global Video Game Market.
Marketers Must Stay Abreast Of Evolving Consumer Needs & Values
The full societal effects of COVID-19 on consumer behaviors are still to be determined. As with any major national or global event, the coronavirus will likely shape many aspects of consumer values for years to come. As industries comply with new regulations, procedures and expectations, brands cannot return to old strategies without examining them through a new lens.
Customers are seeking products and services from brands that offer seamless, omni-channel experiences and offer positive user experiences and optionality. Consumers want to feel brands are aligned with their personal values and have a sense of compassion. Bands have a heightened responsibility to connect with new audiences in ways that will continue to bolster engagement, retention and loyalty. This is a time for brands to prioritize learning as much as possible about their target audiences, create updated customer profiles and implement marketing strategies that will reach consumers where they are and also where they are going.
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