The global pandemic has radically changed the world. Businesses can no longer ignore the impact of COVID-19 on the world of buying and selling. Customer behavior has significantly changed and what felt like a luxury just a couple of months ago now seem like a necessity.
Consumer behavior is continuously shifting and evolving. People have started living, buying, and thinking differently. The period of self-isolation, illness, and economic uncertainty has fundamentally changed consumer behavior, especially when it comes to shopping. These changes have altered the business environment significantly. There has been a massive transformation to online shopping, increased demand for omnichannel, and significant differences in consumer shopping habits-all thanks to the global pandemic.
According to Alex Timlin, the Senior Vice President of Verticals at Emarsys, “Online retails isn’t going to replace offline retailers but what we did see last year was a more than 50% increase in consumers using a mobile app for discovery and purchase and a huge increase in the number of people browsing in-store but not finding the right size or the right color and buying on the mobile device. And what we are seeing now, is the lines between online and offline blurring with people booking appointments to visit stores on their mobile device, buying online, and collecting in-store because they don’t want to wait for a week for delivery. These experiences can be digitally enabled but can’t be digitally replaced.”
Listen to the Podcast: Interview With Alex Timlin SVP Verticals at Emarsys
A significant shift to online shopping
According to research by JP Morgan, customers in America spent about US$ 211.5 billion on eCommerce during the second quarter of 2020, 31.8% higher quarter-over-quarter.
The impact of the pandemic on shopping behavior witnessed a significant boost in early March. The pandemic compelled people to live differently, which resulted in major shifts in consumer shopping behavior and how they spent their time. With strict lockdown restrictions in place, demand for online shopping skyrocketed. Also, a sharp rise in the number of people buying groceries online shows the changing habits of consumers over a year.
One of the current trends in consumer behavior, which is expected to last, is minimal consumption. After panic buying goods at stores and going through financial hardships due to unemployment and other reasons, people became more conscious about consumption.
People started stocking essentials at home as many countries imposed strict lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. And, this led to increasing in value-based purchasing and more focus on essential products and services.
A new virtual workforce
Millions of employees are still working remotely and those who experienced it for the first time would like to do it more frequently in the future. Growmotely conducted a survey in 2020, wherein it asked entrepreneurs and working professionals to share their thoughts on the new remote working paradigm. The results of the survey showed that over 61% of employees prefer working in a fully remote environment.
Employees who worked in remote working environments admit feeling more productive and professionally satisfied than working in the office. However, even though the majority of employees have the right environment and sufficient tools to work remotely, they still crave social interaction.