As we continue to face the tremendous negative effects of Covid-19 towards the communities and businesses across the world, the society unceasingly exemplify resiliency to survive this situation that is seemingly not going to end any time soon. Schools, malls, churches, offices, restaurants and other retail stores were forced to closed. In order to assure the health and safety of each and everyone, precautionary measures such as lockdown was enforced prohibiting people to join any form of mass gathering. Indeed, Covid-19 gives uncertainty to the growth of most businesses.
Slowly, institutions and establishments are starting to operate once again to cater customers while observing preventive rules and regulations. The past nine months have been an unusual and challenging downtime for businesses. The long duration of the temporary store closures is making it difficult for small businesses to sustain expenses and has resorted to employee lay off and permanent closure. Apart from that, businesses related to travelling such as airlines and hotels were majorly affected by the pandemic causing a drastic deterioration. While on the other hand, some are trying keep afloat through reinventing and innovating that will make their products and services more valuable during these trying times.
This so called “new normal” or the adjustments and protective measures that are now being implemented in different regions of the globe call for a massive need to explore new methods to cater the market. These new routines must be aligned with the new consumer behavior which resulted from the rise of Covid-19. The public has now become more cautious with the cleanliness of their total surroundings including food. Furthermore, personal health has become their utmost priority.
Businesses has to level up their game in order to be at par with the new global standard when it comes to health and safety. This is also to ensure that their employees, guests, and customers are well taken care of and can be at ease with the company of these businesses. Although disinfection and sanitation processes has always been part of the sanitary routine, this time around, protocols are tighter and meticulous.
The fear of being infected especially that we are only starting to disseminate vaccines will stay as the primary concern of the mass. New habits are formed, how, where we shop, and the way we work and live have all changed as well. The customer approach of brands and companies has been altered too because of the implemented safety orders. These is the “new normal” that companies must be able to understand and cater in order to shape up their businesses.
This kind of health scare is not new to the public. We have encountered other pandemics in the past such as SARS, Swine Flu, Ebola, etc. Marketers and business enthusiasts have managed to study economic trends and consumer behavior during and after the stressing period. According to experts, brands that exert effort in transitioning and adapting to the effects of the crisis or any revolutionary event makes people to remember and support them even more. This is an opportunity for businesses to reinvent their products and services instead of maintaining what we are accustomed to.
In order for you to keep up with the changes and prepare your business on what is ahead of us, we have gathered 5 ways Covid-19 could impact future consumer behavior that will affect your business.
1. Transition to digital purchasing – The rise of technology and internet turned businesses to immerse their brands in digital platforms. We have witnessed the success of ecommerce because it allows consumers to shop at the comfort of their homes with just a few clicks away. It removes the effort of going out and taking home purchased items as online stores take care of the logistics processes. Now that Covid-19 limits us to socialize and leads us to engage in social distancing, more businesses are driving towards making their services and products available online. Consumers heavily rely on online stores these days and this will continue even during post Covid-19. This is an opportunity for you to make your business grow despite the ongoing pandemic. People spend more time on social media and other internet platforms even more as this has become an avenue for us to be part of the community and it enables us to do essential and non-essential activities such as grocery shopping, banking needs, practice arts and crafts, attending academic classes and other forms of entertainment. Consumers opt to do everything online if they can so it is helpful for both of you and consumer to extend your marketing efforts online.
2. Patronization – People are trying to better manage their expenses and spending habits by prioritizing essential goods over luxury commodities. During the peak of the pandemic, there was an inflation of sales in pharmacies, supermarkets, and banks because these were the places that helped us to acquire our basic and daily needs. People were hoarding alcohol, water, food, toiletries because of the ongoing health scare that might lead to scarcity of goods.
More people are staying at home hence this affected the consumption level of household goods. If your business does not involve essential goods, this might be the right time to market your products/services in a new angle or reinvent. You can try to give it a new light to make it as a necessity in home, work, or daily life. This will help you to reintroduce your product and create a buzz that your business is flexible and versatile to adapt in different situations and still capable to cater your target market. Moreover, the reintroduction gives way for you to build stronger relationship with your audience by providing quality, conversational, and witty publicity materials.
On the other hand, another form of patronization is formed that resulted from Covid-19. Each person has a community role to play. A way to perform this is through supporting the small businesses in our communities. Unity has emerged among the mass by buying more goods from small businesses as a service of assistance to allow them sustain their livelihood.
3. Home furnishing – Because of the enforcement of staying at home, offices have closed that lead employees to work from their homes. With the current situation that we have at the moment, schools and offices are far away from reopening. This caused the spike in sales in home furnishings. More people are purchasing items and office furnishings that will make their school work and office work easier, efficient, and comfortable. There is also an increase in the home improvements category as consumers spend more time at home thus it became a right opportunity for them to conduct home renovation.
This retail category will continuously prosper as consumers lean towards investing and spending on these items to further improve their homes and work spaces.
4. Do everything at home – The initial method that was made to contain the pandemic was to implement a lockdown. Stores and activities such as cinemas, soft play areas, arcades, gyms, schools, were greatly affected by this. Hence, you have to look for alternatives that will allow consumers experience these activities inside their homes. As form of home entertainment, consumers are resorting to activities that can be done at home including workout, kids activities, movies, and gaming. Businesses start to convert their services and products into a model that is designed to be done by yourself at home. An example is a noodle house that sells packed ramen with soup, noodles, garnish, and other ingredients needed. Not only does it allow us to reexperience the things we used to do outside to entertain and educate ourselves prior pandemic, but it serves as a bridge that allows us to reconnect with the rest of the household members.
5. CSR – Corporate Service Responsibility aims to contribute solutions and programs that addresses social and environmental concerns. This is an opportunity for you to carry out more in this aspect of business. This is because the public solidly supports brands that give heavy assistance towards communities and people who are in need. People remember well which companies were present and conducting community services during trying times. You could perform a partnership with other companies that provide medical assistance or donate essential goods to communities and people whose livelihood has been put into halt and has no other means to generate income.
With all the changes that has been happening because of Covid-19, the society continuously adjusts and realign to adapt to what is the “new normal”. So should companies whether big or small for you to be able to grow and sustain your businesses. An impactful event brings both positive and negative effects towards the society. However, what is most important is that you are able to manage and find balance to surpass such events.
Now that you have got a good overview of the changes in consumer behavior brought by Covid-19, you can improve on your marketing and business operations method. Through these 5 effects of the pandemic, you have now the fundamental information to calibrate and fine tune your marketing efforts and business direction.