We have seen some amazing businesses adapt really quickly to the recent crisis. Retailers setting up online stores, butchers providing pop up shops, plant wholesalers offering consumer delivery services or pubs and restaurants offering a takeaway service.
We’ve also seen the world as we knew it, where the trend towards spend on experience and service has been turned on its head and many businesses forced to close for now.
For companies whose customers are consumers, how can you start to plan for the future and how might consumer needs change?
How and why customers buy
The way people are buying now may only be temporary so understanding how and why your customers buy is important. There are three main things to remember here:
- Emotion is what drives people to buy. Customer need to feel good about buying from you so as a business you need to share similar values and offer a great service.
- Convenience will always be important. That’s why Amazon dominate the online market. That’s why ensuring it is easy to buy from you is so important.
- Information is vital. Who is buying, what are they buying and how do you keep in touch in a meaningful way between purchases? What’s also important is who isn’t buying: is there an opportunity for you?
At the moment some people have much more time than before, while others have less. People may be buying from you because they don’t want to visit a supermarket, because they are trying to replicate some aspect of ‘normal’ or to make them happy right now. For businesses which are closed, especially in the health & beauty sector, people are looking to find alternatives, such as cutting their own hair.
What could the future look like?
When restrictions start to be lifted, people may spend wildly or, of they are worried about a recession, be wary of spending so you need to be ready for different scenarios, including restrictions being lifted in different stages. If people haven’t bought from you or found alternatives, they need a compelling reason to return to you. So the experience you offer – in terms of advice, expertise, the relationship you have with customers and delivering a brilliant service that makes customers feel great when they leave and want to return is key.
We are likely to see community as more important and shopping locally, sustainability and a positive experience will be a focus for consumers.
For businesses who are trading now this is the perfect opportunity to develop those relationships with your customers so you are able to keep in touch and make them aware of what you offer.
Taking the time now to plan your marketing for your business could really help you to get ahead. If you need more support, download our free Marketing Recovery Toolkit. to help you plan for the future.
Visit our Coronavirus Marketing Hub and sign up to download your toolkit here.