Shifting Consumer Behaviours: What Can Businesses Do Differently?
The COVID-19 pandemic has toppled our economy.
Several small businesses had to go off the market and even corporate giants had a tough time maintaining their bottom line. The lengthy spans of social distancing, quarantine and lockdowns also altered consumer habits.
Now, businesses that aim to return in pre-pandemic capacities are gauging present-day market demands.
In this article, we elaborate upon some strategies that focus on shifting consumer behaviours. These strategies will help you resume your business post-pandemic.
1. Meet old demands with new solutions
Unlike the pre-pandemic era, people now try to maintain steady savings, cutting down on their expenditure, and a healthier work-life balance.
While this may make you feel like your company’s products and services can be rendered useless, aligning your products to your customers’ core expectations can help you get a kick-start! Understanding how a similar service can be provided while respecting the new customer lifecycle choices will help you address the same problem in new ways.
For example, for someone who ran offline classes to teach a skill or an academic subject, shifting over to Zoom lessons and conducting online sessions may prove to be a much more viable option.
Since the pandemic has left most people with no option but to spend most of their time indoors, offering your service over a screen can be the best transformation for your business.
2. Establish a digital presence
With the Internet becoming increasingly popular, owing to its ease of access and versatility, building an effective digital presence can do wonders for your business.
Online platforms also allow you to offer additional features like tokens and discounts to clients, increasing your long-term sales and customer loyalty.
One of the biggest outcomes of the pandemic has been the rise in time that people spend on their screens. According to a report from Freshdesk, about 93% of customers seem to have almost entirely shifted to online purchasing.
Therefore, it is very important to provide your services, either partly or fully, on digital channels.
Such platforms also offer greater scalability, letting you reach a much wider audience. You can also collaborate with a third-party that can generate and share their referral links to endorse your business.
3. Focus on customer satisfaction
Since the lockdowns have been recurrent for almost about two years now, some businesses may experience a sudden imbalance of resources. This may hinder them from functioning at full capacity.
However, since customers don’t know that—their expectations from companies remain the same.
Moreover, now that buyers are more careful about where they invest than ever before, both pre-sale and post-sale customer care are going to have a massive impact on customer trust.
From purchase to post-consumption, right now is a pertinent time for you to accompany your customers in their entire buying journey.
For example, if your business, also operating online, faces a delay in delivering some orders, it is important to proactively communicate this information to customers instead of expecting them to reach you first.
Having a well-prepared support team that is prepared and responsive is also going to be very useful.
Offering remote help via IVR solutions, visual support, live chat, AI interactions, etc. is important to make your customers feel supported and valued.
A seamless customer experience can prove to be a huge factor in determining how your business progresses today.
4. Go the extra mile
Surprising your customers particularly in these times when they least expect it can help you distinctively stand out from your competitors.
One method of retaining your customers is by regularly collecting feedback and conducting in-depth analysing. Once this is done, you can make some primary changes to your product offerings.
The additions you make needn’t necessarily serve an essential purpose but they will help your buyers feel special and appreciated.
An advanced CRM software can help you understand customer data in a way that determines the value each customer holds for the business through their entire life cycle with the brand. This lets businesses cater to customers uniquely while also fuelling customer loyalty.
5. Expand your presence
Now, as newer trends of increasing sales and business emerge every day, it is integral for you to expand your presence over different offline as well as online channels of purchase.
Consumers are used to trying out varying means of consumption as their access and mobility become simpler. Buyers have also reduced offline purchases and are adhering only to virtual forms of business.
It is, therefore, of utmost importance for any business that aspires to thrive and widen its sales to be present on multiple platforms of buying and selling.
For example, if a loyal customer has moved physically to a different location during the pandemic or if they only shop virtually now, it is the brand’s responsibility to meet them where they most desire.
As most products and services are now available online, if a company resists this change, the resistance will result only in its own loss.
6. Endorse an easier lifestyle
It is the age of everything becoming smaller, more comfortable and exceptionally accessible. Modern-day consumers want to invest the least amount of time, energy and money and be able to receive the best utilities and services.
To be able to reach a wider base of consumers, tweak your brand’s services to make processes simple and uncomplicated for them. If, instead, you expect them to get accustomed to your way of things, you may lose them to a competitor who offers them what they want.
For example, if streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are compared to traditional cable services for audio-visual entertainment, the former always get an upper hand.
These platforms don’t restrict viewers from watching their favourite shows only during a specific time slot through the week. The service bends itself by making different viewing content available 24×7 so that audiences can watch everything at their own convenience.
The prospects of resuming your work in the same capacity or more as the pre-pandemic times may seem impossible to achieve but are certainly attainable with the right amount of brainstorming and determination.
Keeping your buyers at the centre of your operations, actively working on understanding their demands and expectations, and introducing changes in how you work in accordance with the same are some sure shot ways to success.
Serve buyers by offering them products and services that satisfy their newly adopted lifestyles, and envisioning a digitally accessible business are some steps that will help you get your business closer to where you want it to be.