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Consumer Behavior In The Remainder of 2020 & Beyond

The world has been a different place these last few months, with consumer behavior adapting and shifting to a ‘new normal.’ What exactly that ‘new normal’ will look like is still debated, and constantly evolving. Here are just a few ways that consumer behavior has changed – and which changes may stick.

  1. Contactless Payments
    • Consumers have been looking for ways to reduce the risk of contamination, such as wearing gloves, increased use of hand sanitizer, or moving to online shopping. There has also been a trend towards contactless payments, such as e-wallets and tap credit cards. Thanks to their convenience and ease of use, these safety measures may remain in the future.
  2. Increase in Travel & Experiences
    • It’s true that caution will be the name of the game for the foreseeable future, but consumers are projected to return to trips and vacations. According to forecast data from Ernst & Young, over 70% of consumers plan to spend in a ‘cautiously extravagant’ way in Activities/Leisure and Vacations/Holidays. Once the all-clear is given and social distancing is in the rearview mirror, you can expect a return of experience-based marketing initiatives.
  3. Importance of Purpose & Social Good
    • A consistent message throughout the past few months has been the drive towards community. Brand authenticity & social values have always been important, but now purpose and social good are becoming more central to customer perception. It will be important for companies to reflect those sentiments in the months and years ahead.
  4. Increase in Media Usage
    • This year, the average time spent by consumers with media has risen by one hour (to 13 hours, 35 minutes). This is largely due to lockdowns, but there are indications that this trend will continue even as life slowly returns to normal, especially with digital media.

It’s also important to note that some consumers likely won’t change their habits and will go back to the same routines as before. There is a fine balance between making changes to fit the shifting climate, while also not alienating consumers who may be slower to adapt to the ‘new normal.’
While it is true that the impact of the pandemic – and subsequent lockdowns – will be felt for the foreseeable future, it has also provided new opportunities for many industries. Being strategic with any changes will help businesses succeed in the post-pandemic era.

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