Changing Attitudes of the Omnichannel Consumer
While businesses were scrambling to meet the changes the pandemic caused, interrupted supply chains, changing operating hours, shifting employee needs, consumers were adopting new attitudes and demands as well.
The shift in consumer sentiment mirrored the cultural and economic events suddenly thrust on them by the pandemic. Here are some top-line sentiments that shaped their behavior:
- Many now prefer products that are “made in the USA”
- More focus on how to contribute to the local community
- Plan to purchase more products that are sourced and manufactured locally
- Spending more on home improvement products
Intrinsically, there are many positives here, and it’s not surprising that as the pandemic continues these sentiments became behaviors:
- More people will spend their spare time in their homes over the next 12 to 24 months.
- Trust in people-first companies has increased
- Plan to avoid crowded places more than before the pandemic (in the next 12 to 24 months)
- Multiple e-commerce options have consumers feeling even more empowered
While the first three bullets above are really no surprise and if you can meet these consumer expectations, so much the better. The last bullet is the most important for the retail, bank, and QSR industries as the growth of multiple e-commerce options mirrors the diminishing brick and mortar options.
Consumers are more empowered than ever when it comes to shaping retail in the foreseeable future. They now have the ability to buy from a number of online sources, often having their purchases delivered to their home in less than 2 days. Further, they can shop at 2 AM or 2 PM on a myriad of devices and will do so across many channels. All with a few keystrokes or taps on a screen on a myriad of devices.
Omnichannel Consumers Have Raised Expectations from Brands
So, it’s logical that consumers will abandon a poor e-commerce experience for a better one. The challenge for retailers now is to create superior online shopping experiences to be competitive in the new normal. And the key to staying competitive is to understand your customers so you can personalize online shopping experiences for them. Customers want to be understood, after all, we know that 80% of US online adults feel comfortable sharing some personal information with retailers in order to personalize their experience. Although this desire to be known and understood by retailers is long-standing consumer sentiment, it has now intensified and become a top priority for brands and consumers.
In our next article, we will dive into personalization and what is required to create it. The good news is that it doesn’t involve third-party cookies and app-centric advertiser IDs that violate privacy standards. Meanwhile, watch the webinar on Winning the E-Commerce Race to hear about retail and e-commerce lessons learned during the pandemic.