COVID-19 has had a profound impact on peoples lives and the uncertainty has changed how customers behave. When habits are disrupted, not only do consumers have to rely on more time consuming conscious thought, but they become open to considering possibilities and ideas they hadn’t considered previously. Consumer buying decisions will be affected by how brands respond to covid. They expect brands to shift business priorities and recourses and produce products that aid consumers with today's challenges. Our behaviours are influenced by a wide range of psychological factors and unconscious biases, particularly in times of uncertainty. As our instincts kick in at this time of stress, our desire to follow the heard heightens. As we watch others panic buying during this time we may have an unconscious fear of missing out which leads to mass panic buying.
The importance of rules serving a purpose is highlighted in our social conventions and norms in our decision-making processes. Most people are generally law-abiding but they might not wear a mask if they think it makes them look like a bit of a nerd, or overanxious. If there is a rule saying you have to wear a mask, this gives people guidance and clarity, and it stops them worrying about what others think. So the normative power of rules is very important. Behavioural insights and nudges can then support these rules and policies, to help governments and business prepare for second waves, future pandemics or other global crises.
Consumers are starting to pay more attention to marketing messages, including email Sms, social ads and more (35.65%)They're also browsing online more (32.05%), and buying online more (25.35%) If the disruption continues, nearly half (43.20%) plan to do more of their shopping online.
Consumers are looking to spend less (56.75%) rather than spend more (23.65%) during this time, or they're aiming to maintain their typical spend (22.80%). Almost a third (37.7%) are shifting to buying online more than in physical stores.
What do these trends mean for your brand?
More than ever, it is essential your connect with your customers on a basic human level. Be sympathetic to their anxieties and concerns, and offer value in ways beyond just your products.
Focus on creating content that provides real value to consumers. From entertaining videos to informative blog posts, to open channels of communication that makes your brand and team more accessible. It's now more important than ever to deepen your relationship with your community.
Now more than ever, your website is the primary channel for your brand. Leverage the power of user-generated content and consumer feedback to build trust in these times; having a steady stream of new and authentic reviews will be especially critical to shoppers.