Stores may be reopening across the country, but that doesn’t mean brands should pull back on e-commerce. The sudden arrival of the Novel Coronavirus has caused many brands to fast track their online shopping capabilities, making e-commerce a necessity for millions of businesses who may not have had online selling in their plans before COVID-19.
In this post, we’ll take a look at pre and post-COVID consumer shopping behaviors and discuss how businesses will need to adapt their e-commerce strategy to succeed in a digital marketplace.
Consumer Behavior Pre & Post-COVID
Now, more than ever, consumers are looking to brands for solutions. Before pandemic-necessitated lockdowns, consumer shopping behavior was a pretty even mix of traditional and online. However, consumers have adapted to a new way of shopping post-pandemic, with 70% purchasing more than usual and over 90% of customers saying that their behaviors are different in the following ways:
- Avoiding physical stores
- Discretionary shopping put on hold
- Buying exclusively online
- Placing online, phone, contactless delivery, and curbside pickup orders
Brands need to maintain an active online presence complete with the intuitive shopping experience customers have grown to expect, or they risk becoming obsolete.
The pandemic has forced years of digital commerce transformation into just a few months. Compared to pre-COVID-19 plans, offline channels such as physical retail stores and in-person sales have been reduced, but most plan to increase their investment in online channels. Forrester analyst Allan Bonde discusses the shift into a digital-first mindset on a podcast with Bloomreach: “Because of COVID, offline spending has dropped significantly and, as our study highlights, sellers are boosting investments in online channels, starting with their own website and mobile apps, but also on third-party social media platforms and marketplace sites like Instagram and Amazon.”
What This Means For Your Strategy
You should approach your marketing with an “always-on” strategy. Quarantines and social distancing rules have shifted expectations around communication and shopping behaviors, necessitating an omnichannel, digital-first approach during each stage of the buyer’s journey. E-commerce is the future of consumer shopping, and brands will be hard-pressed to succeed without it.
Are you ready to take your business online for the first time, or increase your e-commerce presence? You don’t have to do it alone. We have experience taking what works about your brick-and-mortar store and translating it into conversions (and new customers) as quickly as possible. Give us a call at 781-247-0730 or email us at email@example.com to discuss the next steps.