Which Pandemic Shopper Habits are Here to Stay?

Olivia Roehm | Account Executive

Predictions of when the crisis will end seem to be impossible to judge, however, there are some stark consumer habits that have sprung up from the crisis that will change the economic landscape even when the pandemic is over.

For one thing, many consumers who have not adopted some online purchase habits for products or services necessarily began trying various online services due to the widespread home lockdown across the country. Some businesses who were able to adapt during this time to the increased online activity have likely seen a spike in new customers over the past month. As we come out of the crisis, growth will flatten and some of those customers will abandon those businesses, but there will remain a new customer base who discovered those businesses during this pandemic.

If you are a business that has seen a new customer spike, you need to start thinking about customer retention once the crisis has passed.

Another consideration is HOW you are doing business – whether consumers are new to online processes or veterans, ease and convenience are still king and will encourage loyal repeat buyers. 

Here’s a shortlist of new consumer patterns that have quickly emerged during the crisis that businesses need to refine moving past the crisis:

1. Contactless and easy payment methods

While many of us will be excited to reconnect in person with our community once the crisis is over, we will still remember processes that brought ease and comfort to our schedule. And if we add busier activities back to our schedule, continuing to find convenience in something as simple as a payment method will be more crucial.

2. Bulk buying e-commerce style

We don’t want to be stuck without toilet paper again… need I say more?

3. Delivery services

Again, that ease we experienced will only increase in importance as we add back the more active and out-of-the-house parts of our lives.

4. Home/Life Skills focus that bring personal enjoyment

Pinterest has been one of the platforms widely adopted during the crisis; I’ve used much more frequently now that I am home 24/7 and looking for ways to improve my living space and hobbies that bring accomplishment and enjoyment, such as baking. What sites have you been using to build your life skills during lockdown?

5. At-home/online accessible family entertainment

My husband and I have played a lot more Wii lately than we’ve ever done before! Not only that, but we find ourselves searching for online multi-player games to play with our family members across the country. Exploration of smart and online family entertainment that brings remote people together has brought a new world of connection to some families. Not to mention the new interest in gaming from new entrants like sports stars who have been bringing their fan base to online gaming communities.

The takeaway here is to take a second and consider what new ways you’ve adapted your business to accommodate the current situation – has that brought you new customers? Can you retain it once the pandemic is over and scale it to attract other customers? A new loyalty/referrals program, or reorganizing your online sales process?

Another key question to ask yourself is: Are you doing it better than competitors right now? 

If you are, then you have an opportunity to invest in advertising now, when many competitors may have withdrawn and the advertising space is cheaper and more available.

If you’re not sure about these questions, reach out to community members, leverage friendships for marketing dialogue, and find a team to start proposing solutions to keep you ahead of the competition!

*Read more about these new pandemic trends from IRI

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