Can Coronavirus Lead to a Permanent Shift in Online Shopping Behaviour?
There has been a massive shift in the way we are conducting our lives during this pandemic. Switching from working in offices to working from home, strolling in malls to avoiding human contact, impulse shopping to buying only essentials, the change can be felt clearly. Though we can’t be sure whether these changes will persist or subside, what does it mean for business owners?
As people come to terms with their altered lifestyle, their buying behavior has adapted to suit their needs. For businesses across the world, the need of the hour is to focus on categories that are catering to this shift.
In a survey conducted by Capgemini Research Institute, 64% of people in urban India are likely to choose online as their preferred mode of purchase over the next six to nine months. It’s interesting to note that several categories have witnessed varied levels of growth.
In this article, we explore trends that consumers are gravitating towards and how brands can re-strategize to tap into growing categories:
Buying Essentials Online:
Since the current situation has forced people to stay at home and given the non-availability of essentials in their locality, people have resorted to online shopping. The demand for online groceries and other essentials has increased substantially.
Players operating in essential commodities should consider focusing efforts on online channels to keep up with the unprecedented demand. Additionally, there could be an increased demand for bigger pack sizes of consumables in the short-term.
Becoming Health Conscious:
As per the study conducted by Accenture, having a “health strategy” will be a strategic differentiator for the foreseeable future for businesses. People have become more conscious of their choices and seek sustainable options. Businesses have to make this a key part of their offering.
This shift in behavior has led to a demand surge in health and immunity building products. Businesses can consider foraying into these categories to capitalize on the rising trend.
Focusing on Hygiene:
Safety and hygiene have taken the center stage and it will become crucial for businesses to implement measures that ensure safety for the consumers. More than ever, people will start seeking out products from brands that have safe delivery practices. Contactless deliveries will become a norm, as people are wary of any sort of human contact.
Businesses have to reimagine their marketing communications and logistics as the focus would be on safety. Setting the right message and ability to educate people on best-practices that your business is adopting, will be crucial for any brand that’s looking to enter this new world.
Exploring Home Grown Products:
If you are a business that manufactures products from locally sourced ingredients, you can expect an unprecedented demand from different segments. The key here is to be able to capture that demand. You should have a medium to reach out to those consumers who are actively looking for such products but might be unaware of your presence.
Businesses have to find ways to connect locally - be it by highlighting local provenance, prioritising local demand, or engaging in locally relevant ways.
Rethink and redefine your marketing strategy and try things that resonate with people keeping in mind their current interests and inhibitions.
It is hard to predict when things will return to normal and spending on other categories will pick up. However, it is paramount for businesses to start rethinking their strategy as this situation is surely going to alter consumer behavior. Throughout this outbreak, products that prove to be relevant to consumer concerns about safety, hygiene, and assurance will be in a stronger position to compete. All in all, brands that are vigilant about changing consumer interests can effectively cater to the new normal.
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