Author
by Rachel Wayne
 

A Quick Guide to Consumer Behavior During COVID-19

Person wearing protective mask while looking at their phone

You know how the pandemic is affecting your business. But are you considering how it’s affecting your customers?

Consumer behavior is showing some new trends during the COVID-19 era. These uncertain times are reflected in consumers’ shift away from impulsive spending and in-person shopping. Instead, many are rethinking the way they shop and what they buy — which means your business may need to adjust your strategy.

Let’s take a look at the four main behavioral trends that today’s consumers are showing.

  1. Trend #1: Reduced Spending

    The first edition of the EY Future Consumer Index surveyed nearly 5,000 consumers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The study found that about 27 percent of consumers are drastically cutting their spending. They may be experiencing financial distress due to unemployment, or they may simply be nervous about spending too much during uncertain times.

    What this means for your business: These consumers aren’t spending much now, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t shopping. They may be saving up for a big purchase once the economic climate improves. They’re also paying attention to how brands behave during the pandemic. Invest energy in your brand-building strategy and maintain a supportive presence in these consumers’ lives. (Learn more about how to do this.)

  1. Trend #2: Business as Normal

    The EY Future Consumer Index found that about 26 percent of consumers are continuing to shop and spend the way they normally do — although they may be shopping online more often. These consumers likely haven’t experienced any loss in income, and they want to continue their regular routines as much as possible.

    What this means for your business: If you haven’t yet, now is the perfect time to launch an eCommerce site and expand your delivery and curbside pickup options. Consumers who want to keep purchasing their usual products and services are looking for ways to get them even with current restrictions. By making it easy and convenient for people to shop with you, you’re more likely to get their business.

  1. Trend #3: Save and stockpile

    The majority of consumers (35 percent) feel nervous about the pandemic and the economic future. They might be living off savings or worried about an impending recession. They are currently cutting back on their spending, and they’re prioritizing essential items such as groceries. These consumers are more likely to feel the urge to stock up or bulk-order.

    What this means for your business: If you offer essential products and services, consider offering a subscription model or bulk discount to entice consumers who are thinking long-term. As with Trend #1, spend time building your brand and demonstrating that you care about your customers. If you’re able, offer reduced-fee service plans or discounts on essential products.

  1. Trend #4: Stay home and spend

    The final trend describes the consumers who are isolating at home. Many of them are working remotely or on furlough. These consumers (11 percent) are devoting more time to online shopping, and their spending levels are above normal. They may be using delivery services for basic items, browsing social media more often, and shopping online for fun.

    What this means for your business: You can connect with these consumers via your eCommerce site, and you should leverage social media marketing and advertising to drive traffic to your online store. Make sure that you offer speedy delivery, because many of these consumers expect instant gratification. Consider offering free shipping or other discounts to entice them.

  1. Conclusion

    Consumers are reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic differently. Some are concerned about possible exposure and are staying at home; others are working from home and taking advantage of delivery options. Many people are concerned about their finances and the economic climate, which makes them less likely to spend, while others are taking this opportunity to shop to their hearts’ content. Your eCommerce website and marketing strategy should take all these trends into account to maximize your income during the COVID-19 era.

    Need help with your eCommerce strategy? Dotlogics brings their expertise to the table.

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