Theories and predictions surrounding the state of our post-Coronavirus world continue to take up much of the news these days. Consumer expectations in a post-Coronavirus world will be based on our experiences of the Pandemic. While we know there are still testing times ahead, there is a human resilience that has been proven and will also have a lasting effect on our societies and the business landscape. Actually, what emerges from times of shared trauma is more often than not, a greater sense of shared compassion, hope and, in the case of Coronavirus, innovation. The way we live, shop and stay connected is changing, and it is up to us as businesses and consumers to steer the ship with integrity.
So, how do we cater our businesses to new consumer expectations?
If there’s one thing that has drastically changed, it’s the pivot many businesses have made to online offerings. Once you start offering your products and services online, it’s difficult to remove this offering of convenience, even when in-store options can resume. Take the innovations made by the fitness industry in the online group classes and personalised ‘take-home’ workouts many gyms are offering their members, for example. When clientele demands it, businesses will have no choice but to continue online offerings when they have proven they have the capabilities.
Another example is the priority of delivery to people who need it, such as people who experience mobility issues or immunodeficiency issues, where before there were no special priorities or differentiation for certain sects. Businesses have proven their capacity to change and innovate, and now the bar has not only been set but raised. Consumers have realised that when they ask, they will receive.
To read more about how to utilise digital marketing through a crisis, click here.
Businesses have been challenged during this time to be offering support on a personal level, rather than with their bottom line in mind. New demands by consumers to feel assured and comforted by brands is bound to continue. We see companies such as AAMI Insurance offering free roadside assistance to all essential workers in 2020, UberEats offering 10 million free meals to frontline workers and McDonald’s offering free coffee every day of the week to essential workers.
Expectations have been raised and messaging and acts of compassion and community will need to be carried through in the post-Coronavirus landscape as an integral part of how you connect to your clients. The #supportlocal is a prime example of the expectations of this and will be a continued expectation as we see local businesses struggle to bounce back. Messaging that pulls on the heartstrings and encourages a team mentality can’t just be cancelled from the marketing messaging plan once the pandemic is over, can it? Consumers have had more time to be sceptical about brands that plug messaging ‘from the heart’ and will be unforgiving if it is dropped from the plan.
To hear more about how consumers engage in social media, click here.
SOCIAL DISTANCING AND HYGIENE PRACTICES
While the lifting of restrictions is on the horizon, there is the expectation that physical distancing and improved hygiene practices will be a permanent function of business. This will impact the number of people that can be in a shop or venue at once, the cashless way we pay, and definitely the way we interact with one another. Businesses will be expected to prove their commitment to improved hygiene practices through their digital marketing platforms, in-store signage and the visibility of clean practices by encouraging washing your hands prior to entry and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
Care packages and collaboration trends will likely bring new waves of hygiene products and practices to the market and the proportion of disposable income on higher quality products will set a new norm. Already, we have seen many businesses extend their product range to include alcohol-based hand sanitisers and cleaning products, a profitable pivot they have no reason to change granted demand calls for it.
While this isolation period was restricted in many ways, no one can deny that our eyes have been opened to the dynamic ways that we can restructure our once rigid personal and work routines. Consumer groups have the power to test the boundaries of their needs and wants, and brands are expected to come to the party with a new way to shop, offer support and connect with their customers. Consumer habits have changed and expectations for communication and day-to-day business activities have increased. So, is your business ready for the new norms of consumer expectations in a post-Coronavirus world?
Reach out to us at Exalted to plan your best response to new business expectations.