Will consumer shopping experience shift to online post COVID-19?
COVID-19 has changed the way the world once ran. Be it remote working, surviving on bare necessities, stocking up essential goods, or relying on technology to communicate with the world outside, this pandemic has turned the world on its head within a span of months.
Companies struggling to meet annual sales targets are incurring huge losses. With the lockdown mandated and consumers confined to their homes, retail stores have dried up significantly. With most cities under lockdown, people are stepping out only to purchase essential goods.
Where are the buyers?
Consumers have moved away from brick and mortar shops to buying from online stores that deliver the products at their doorsteps. Consumers are looking for new ways of engagement through technology. The e-commerce sector has found a collective affinity from such consumers.
As the world entered the third month of the pandemic, people have found themselves amidst a potentially unending financial crisis. With the economy at an all-time low and layoffs becoming more common than ever, consumers are thinking twice before making any purchase.
Needless to say, consumer buying trends have also shifted dramatically from luxury-spends to long-running and quality-yet-affordable products. They have tightened their purse strings to survive the cash crunch in this time of crisis. This is another reason why consumers need high- quality yet pocket-friendly products.
What does this cash crunch mean?
Consumers have shifted their loyalty to online companies who provide them what they need, and if analysts are to be believed, this trend is here to stay for a long time. The trend of group shopping, store crowding during ‘Loot Sales’, and ‘Black Friday Sales’ will soon see a decline.
The consumers will be wary of stepping into places that do not provide the luxury of space and interpersonal distance. It is now that companies need to pay heed to consumer feedback and rework their marketing strategies.
The same holds true in the case of retail fashion. Fashion industry will take a backseat in the minds of consumers as they struggle to meet their basic necessities. The fashion industry, which once thrived on consumers hoarding the products, might see the buyer rethinking every purchase in the future.
The trend of splurging money on luxury fashion and expensive couture is likely to see an overturn, as consumers experience a cash crunch. They will spend more on products that promise quality over frills. Discounted fashion will be more sought after. In short, consumers will go on a cash-saving spree by reserving more cash for emergencies, rather than choosing to spend on fashion and retail.
It’s essential for brands to provide what the customer needs the most -- quality with affordability.
The pandemic has seen a rise in the number of online shoppers. The convenience of doorstep delivery is something that consumers will naturally opt for.
This will surely be a boon for e-commerce sites. With consumers moving towards digital platforms in a big way due to the pandemic, it is necessary for businesses enter the online space.
There is a strong possibility that the world might see an increase in sustainable and circular fashion choices in the days to come. It is not long before we see consumers adapting to this new.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)