After the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer habits have transformed significantly. There have been substantial and constant changes in the way people work, live, and shop.
Social distancing and stay-at-home regulations have forced whole consumer segments to shop differently. A few months into COVID-19, consumer shopping online has increased across different sectors. According to reports by McKinsey & Company, the growth of online shopping in medicines, groceries, and personal care products exceeded by 35%.
Many US consumers have already started to change their behavior in response to hygiene concerns. Skincare and personal care products are two factors that customers will stay to be focused on. All household cleaners and hand sanitizers, soaps, face wash, cleansing gels are at the top of consumer’s shopping lists.
But what are these consumer insights and how to track changes?
What Are Consumer Insights?
Consumer insights are ideas used by brands or businesses to get a deep insight into how their audience thinks and feels. Analyzing human behaviors allows brands to understand what their customers want, and most importantly, why they think this way.
By using the right consumer insights platform, businesses can understand and acknowledge consumer behavior to engage customers emotionally.
Let’s take an example of some brands using consumer insights.
Apple is one of the most inspiring companies when it comes to creating unique marketing operations.
In the 2016 holiday season, Apple’s marketing team chose to be different from its competitors’ hard-selling advertising tactics.
Tor Myhren, VP of Apple marketing, said, “many companies still manage to do the real hard-sell, price-based retail advertising during the holidays. That’s what you’re enclosed with. We wanted this to be something in which we can give people a minute or two of just a nice piece of entertainment that balances tightly to something we believe strongly in at Apple.”
Undoubtedly, Apple won that Christmas season by beating Google. How much has this commercially contributed to that is uncertain, but people enjoyed the movement.
In the 2012 Olympics in London, Nike announced its athletics-encouraging campaign called ‘Find Your Greatness.’ The campaign’s primary aim was to promote aspirations of being an athlete, but not just with high-performing athletes but with all people despite their physical ability.
With the right consumer insights software, Nike recognized that its target audience was not trained athletes but people who endeavored to be more like them. This campaign was intended to inspire all of its members to achieve their own personal greatness.
So, it’s not just record-breakers who should wear Nike gear, but everyone ready to accelerate their limits no matter their fitness level.
As more and more brands continue embracing the consumer insights platform, changes in customer behavior and their shopping habits come out more evidently. Let’s take a look at some of the recent changes observed in consumer buying patterns in some of the industries.
What Are Consumer Insights Changes in Health & Personal Care?
The world of beauty, health, and personal care is ever-evolving as it is a continuous expression of societal measures and aesthetic ideals. 2020 was an unexpected year for every industry and has led to widespread systemic changes.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, trends in natural beauty, at-home beauty, and eCommerce have rapidly grown while other trends like sustainability have taken on new heights.
These shifting trends in consumer insights have forced brands to rethink how they strategize and operate. Meeting these trends requires beauty and personal care companies to incorporate consumer insights tools to get a deep understanding of their consumer into decision-making.
What Are Consumer Insights Changes in Food?
COVID-19 had an immediate impact on the global food and beverage industry. As early as March 2020, companies reported: “significantly reduced consumption and supply chain interruption challenges.”
During the pandemic, struggling restaurants converted into provisioners. Grocers are teaming up with cooks to sell meal kits.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 19% of Americans shopped for food more than three times a week. But surprisingly, this number had fallen to 10% by June. One of the critical findings is that many consumers are thinking more carefully about the cost. More than 50% of respondents said the price had become a more crucial factor for them when buying food products.
With the reduced preference for eating out, almost half percent of respondents said they expected to spend more on home cooking and baking products.
What Are Consumer Insights Changes in Spirits?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, “let’s go out for a drink” quickly turned to “are you up for a Zoom happy hour?”
With on-premise dining closed, alcohol sales shifted from bars to in-home. As compared to 2019, during the first week of May, alcohol dollar sales were up 40%, while online sales of alcohol skyrocketed, up 339%. Moreover, alcohol is now the faster-growing e-commerce unit amongst consumer-packaged goods and weekly growth due to the pandemic.
In response to the at-home cocktail trend, many grocery retailers developed their selection of spirits and mixture products in 2020. Stores also increased online offering for pickup and delivery and focused on clean, clutter-free marketing in the adult beverages department to make it simpler for shoppers to find products.
That said, the pandemic has a massive impact on different industries and consumer behaviors. It has made consumers change their shopping habits and companies rethink their marketing strategies. In fact, now is the time for companies to understand their audience, analyze their purchasing behavior, and make the most of it through innovative and alluring ways.
Though it is a bit challenging, the right consumer insights platform can help you beat the hurdles.
About the Author
Efrat Vulfsons is the Co-Founder of PR Soprano and a data-driven marketing enthusiast, parallel to her soprano opera singing career. Efrat holds a B.F.A from the Jerusalem Music Academy in Opera Performance.