Recently, the Coronavirus crisis and the recession that followed have been discussed in extensive detail, even by laymen. A reason this recession is unlike no other is because of the unexpectedness of it.
Understanding how this crisis affects consumer behavior is essential for businesses to adapt to change. This outbreak has alarmed businesses. The worst affected businesses are SMB’s, making them look for alternative ways to run their business.
Below are a few ways how consumer behavior tends to change in their purchasing decisions.
1. The guarded consumer behavior:
These consumers are well educated and employed middle class and upper-middle-class segment. They have a good disposable income and job security. Their main concern post-pandemic would be hygiene and sanitization. These consumers prefer to buy online and look for alternative safe options. In other words, not just to avoid the risk of disease spread for themselves, but also for the betterment of the society.
Because of many reasons, consumers are looking for new ways to work, learn, shop, entertain, and procure experiences from home. From watching a movie to deciding a wedding lehenga design, they are preferring to have the visual effect from home.
Businesses, to target this niche set of consumers, should quickly adapt to this low touch digital activity. Online space is now becoming a “new normal” market place to look for. Businesses that quickly establish themselves as safe places would be at an advantage.
2. The unguarded consumer behavior:
On the contrary, these are the consumers who don’t take much care of being safe. They don’t give importance to hygiene or sanitation and they are not affected by the situation post-pandemic. Their behavior almost remains as it was pre-pandemic in terms of the places they shop and the mode of shopping.
Change in Consumer Behavior – How can businesses cope up?
1. Disruption creates opportunity: Develop Digital & Low- Touch Solutions:
Guarded customers are the most attractive target for the businesses to focus on in the near future. They are hesitant in resuming pre-pandemic activities and prefer low touch solutions for their needs. Businesses being present online for the consumer during this need are at an advantage.
Having a great online infrastructure with a website and a social media presence takes you closer to your customer. As this pattern is going to be a new normal for up to 2 years, a quick shift in the paradigm would yield good results.
Recently, Doctors have been encouraging telemedicine by taking online consultations, Fitness chains are running online classes. Teaching lessons, dance, music through video calls are gaining all the attention. Some of the well-known singers have transformed their live concerts into paid online live concerts by using entertainment platforms. These are some of the businesses who quickly adapted to the Paradigm shift and found ways to serve their customers.
2. Re-assure hygiene:
When it comes to your business, the steps you take to maintain hygiene standards play a major role. Communicate os the same helps in reassuring the trust.
Starting from the food delivery services like Swiggy and Zomato, many restaurants are acting on this. They are showcasing videos of the chef’s activities in the kitchen. They gain trust by showing how they keep the food safe and untouched by hand. Regular digital engagement with your customers is gaining importance as it has become the only medium to reach your customer.
3. Focus on your customers: Innovate
This time is not only difficult for your businesses but also difficult for your customers due to the recession. This is the perfect time to boost that economic package that already exists or to innovate smart products/packages/services. These may be more valuable to the customers.
Seeing the pandemic and its ill effects on the economy, businesses are turning this into a golden opportunity. They are quickly acting on the digital transformation and trying to overcome the ill effects. In conclusion, being proactive and building your presence online is the need of the hour.