In the post pandemic world, where almost nothing stands unaffected, consumer behaviour is no exception. It is, but normal. The lockdown, the fear of the virus and subsequent changes in lifestyle have had a long-term impact on human behaviour as well as priorities and choices. This directly affects the purchasing decisions as well. In the face of uncertainty, one thing is clear. Customers are guarded about their spending. The norm is to reset their expectations and adapt to their changing patterns of activity by testing new ways of fulfilling their requirements. Consumer behaviour had its fair share of adjustment from what it used to be. If the last twelve months are any indication, businesses are in for whole new customer expectations in the post-pandemic world. Knowing these behaviour changes can help you adapt and improve your conversion rate optimization. As the business conduct is now laid down by lockdown, social distancing and public unrest, here are the top five consumer behaviour changes expected to be a rolling stone for the year 2022.
One of the first things that the lockdown enforced was that it made the home a hub for everything. From recreational activities like dining, sleeping to exercise and vocation, everything was done at home. Even when the lockdown rules were relaxed, employers and employees preferred much of the benefits that came with the working from home scenario. So it won’t be surprising if the majority of businesses incorporate more of a hybrid working model, i.e. a location-flexible arrangement that allows employees to integrate on-site and off-site working practices. That being said, there are some downsides to bringing everything inside your four walls. depression is one such downside. It has become more recorded within children, teenagers and young adults. So moving forward, consumers will still be involved in amenities like restaurant dining, theatres, concerts and theme parks, but the rate of homebody economy will be higher. This calls for businesses that had one form of functioning like spas and gymnasiums to include a digital option to stay relevant. What was before? The home was a place where consumers relaxed and it was devoid of any other external elements. What is taking over? A homebody economy where consumers who normally consider their home as a place to unwind are also expected to work or operate their business from the comfort of their home.
Before the pandemic a large number of consumers still shopped in person despite most businesses having online purchase options. However, after the pandemic, consumers began to accept and appreciate the benefits that came with shopping online. It not just saved time and energy but also enabled wider research and budget-friendly shopping. Nevertheless, there still remain a significant number who like to do their shopping in person. In fact, expert study shows that around 47% of people like to shop in person. As the curfew and lockdown go out gradually, these groups are less likely to trade the brick and mortar stores for online stores. But the same study shows that 53% of people like to do their shopping online, which shows that both sides have a clear advantage. Among the 47% of in-person shoppers, there are circumstances where they will opt for online shopping. Consumers have reservations in their desired mode of shopping based on situations. For example, buying groceries are less likely to take over the entirety of the consumer base aside from the niche demographics of old people and single young workers. As the next year rolls in, it is unlikely that either of them sweep the other one completely out. So, businesses concerned with their conversion rate optimization should have a hybrid retail approach combining both online and offline shopping benefits. What was before? A significant number of businesses only had offline shopping facilities, and if online shopping was available, it was not optimized. What is taking over? A hybrid retail model where online and offline experiences are available at the consumer’s disposal.
Another important influence of the lockdown and pandemic business disruption was that it called for new and creative ways of doing the business. It was not simple as “if the consumers can’t come to the business, the business goes to them”. No! It was more than just home delivery. Businesses started to have more sanitary measures and made the consumer aware of it. There were the disposable covers in salons, advanced packing practices in restaurants and cashless shopping at every other store. Curbside pickups also became uber-popular in regards to chain restaurants. Movies and shows, and other forms of entertainment started to develop with online and smartphone apps in mind. These are game-changing developments that are happening in a very short time. Consumers, after knowing such seamless benefits, will not be willing to go back to being without them. So, all these newfound conveniences are guaranteed to be continued. What was before? Lesser emphasis on cashless payment, no contactless delivery, fewer takeouts, lesser curbside pickup etc. What is taking over? More emphasis on voice search optimization, cashless payment, contactless delivery, more takeouts and curbside pickups etc.
The lockdown has left consumers in a state of monotony. One method they took up to break their daily monotony was to buy products. Consumers purchased what they could with the surplus money that could not be used elsewhere. There was less effort spent towards saving and more spent towards buying things such as shoes, dresses, jewellery, books, online subscriptions, digital properties, video games, furniture, beds, sanitary products, electronics etc. Lifting of the lockdown (partial or whole) did not reduce the spending. On the contrary, it increased the need for luxury items that provided instant gratification and comfort. Personal care and happiness became a priority. This attitude of the consumers is being called revenge spending by economists and psychologists. So, this trend also will also not be coming down anytime soon, evident from the foreboding situation. What was before? Normal sales in products like shoes, dresses, jewellery etc. What is taking over? A spike in consumer spending on shoes, dresses, jewellery etc. due to the phenomenon called revenge spending.
The last decade has seen an increasing interest and involvement of the people in activism. Therefore, certain sections of the target audience are now expecting companies to align their business objectives with consumer values. Therefore, many businesses started to include corporate social responsibilities to address social issues in their branding and marketing. This began to cater to this audience even though they never brought them to the forefront earlier. However, the problem with this was that aside from a certain subsection of the audience, not all consumers find activism in the product very desirable. People do care that your product is ethically made, less harmful to nature and that you actively participate in social issues. However, preaching activism through mainstream media, may not attract the interest of the unaffected consumer.
In such cases, people only value your product offers and their quality and nothing more. Further being regularly involved in political ideologies and activism can even irk certain sets of consumers and businesses. Hence, one needs to be aware that, in the coming years consumers will be more swayed by social issues and will tend to support businesses with real solutions. What was before? The interest of consumers was just on the value that a product brings and its quality. What is taking over? The interest is moving towards the brand’s social stance while the value and quality still play the deciding factor.
As the new trends of post-pandemic are taking over, businesses have to be on their toes to survive and strive to be competitive. In 2022 and the years that follow, consumers’ preferences will become more social, hybrid and more intended towards convenience. If you are a business that wants to adapt to these consumer behaviours, Vajra Global can help you. Contact us now to understand how we can help your business. And to read more like this one, select our blog archive.