Keeping up With Consumer Shopping Behavioral Changes

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Even as the specter of empty toilet paper shelves fades into our pandemic memories, the changes in consumer shopping habits that ensued continue to ripple and roll across our economic landscape.

How can you as a marketer adapt to these shifts without losing momentum?

Anxious Consumers Look for Comfort, Value and Contact-Free Shopping

Seventy-five percent of consumers say they tried something new in how they shop because of COVID. McKinsey and Company surveyed consumers about these new behaviors and the likelihood (which is high) that they will continue after the pandemic:

  • New shopping method, 40 percent tried; 73% intend to continue
  • Different brand, 36% tried; 73% intend to continue
  • Different retailer/store/website: 33% tried; 80% intend to continue
  • Private label/store brand: 25% tried; 80% intend to continue
  • New digital shopping method: 20% tried; 80% intend to continue

The study also suggests how these new experiences are feeding into some larger shopping trends:

  1. Flight to online as consumers avoid crowds and stay at home.
  2. Shock to loyalty. Initially this shift benefitted big, trusted brands, which saw 50 percent growth at the outset of the crisis, but recently have ceded ground back to challenger brands; and private labels. In fact, most customers who tried a private brand indicated that they will stick with it.
  3. Need for hygiene transparency. Contactless activities, including food and grocery delivery and curbside pickup surged, and consumers say they are here to stay.
  4. Back to basics and value grew as unemployment increased from prolonged shutdowns. McKinsey reports 40 percent of consumers say they have reduced spending and cut back on nonessentials.
  5. Rise of the homebody economy. Americans are working, cooking, exercising and consuming entertainment from the safety of home.

Marketers Seek Confidence in How to Capitalize on Changes

Marketers’ gut instincts are crucial in times like these. But while you may know instinctively to dial back on in-store spending and shift dollars to e-commerce and digital, how do you answer questions such as these:

  • How much should I spend to capitalize on rapidly growing e-commerce channels?
  • If I shift dollars from bricks-and-mortar to fund e-commerce, what will be the financial impact in-store?
  • What is the interplay between my e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar spends?
  • What is the overall financial impact of my strategy, and what can I expect from each distribution channel?

Historical measurement tools are of little value when it comes to making these types of future decisions, especially in high uncertainty or when exploring new strategies and emerging trends.

Keen Helps Marketers Strike the Right Balance

Marketers use Keen to answer questions like these with confidence.

Many of our clients are running separate e-commerce and brick-and-mortar scenarios in order to analyze and optimize each as its own ecosystem. From there they can discern which tactics and spending levels will drive momentum in each scenario. Request a demo today.

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