Covid-19 Changing Consumer Behavior
Given the state of the global pandemic, it comes as no surprise that plenty of evidence points to changing consumer behaviors. A recent high-profile marketing survey identified these changes and predicted when behavior may return to normal.
The survey compiled responses from 270 top marketers in the United States, with the most significant finding reporting that 97% of respondents experienced less in-person engagement, directly related to quarantine restrictions and event cancellations. Additionally, 85% of the respondents reported greater consumer openness to digital offerings and greater value placed on digital experiences.
Another important element of marketing undergoing changes revolves around how much consumers place their trust in companies. Traditionally, consumers in the United States have valued socially responsible companies. As such, 75% of chief marketing officers report increased acknowledgement of company initiatives that “do good.” The survey also showed that business-to-consumer (B2C) companies have experienced this behavioral change more than business-to-business (B2B) companies.
Unfortunately, this is not all good news. Consumers currently show a decreased willingness to buy (67%) and have aversions to paying full price for products (43%). These negative trends go hand-in-hand with 25 % decreases in consumer loyalty, privacy concerns and a willingness to buy online.
While marketing experts remain optimistic that these changes will not last, they predict consumer behaviors will need at least six months to a year to return to pre-pandemic levels.
However, many respondents do not expect every behavior to return to previous levels. Many predict that increased consumer value on digital experiences and weaker loyalty to B2B and B2C product companies will ever return to normal.
Looking forward, experts predict that in the next year, consumers will value trusting relationships and lower prices over excellent service and innovation. Superior quality will play runner-up in terms of priorities for consumers in the coming months.