Retailers and FMCG companies must be prepared for the change in customer behavior

Human beings are highly adaptive. Not only the developments in technology, but also demographic, political, and social factors can dramatically change how we behave and make decisions. Especially with the recent physical isolation all around the world, people have time to think, question, and reflect on what matters to them. This brings us to the intensified focus on people, beginning at the start of the first lock-down, and expected to continue even after the pandemic. 

Open communication is more important than ever

For retailers and FMCG companies who put customer relationships at the heart of their businesses, it is particularly important to take relevant initiatives and communicate with their customers more openly than ever. This includes sharing detailed information about shipment times, possible delays, and stock levels as well as measures taken against COVID-19. Some companies also started to highlight their employees’ efforts, either by sharing their pictures of them working or adding their names to customer emails. In other words, some companies are successfully turning this period into an opportunity for building stronger connections with their customers and employees.

Create sustainable promotions

Due to the ever-increasing economic uncertainty, purchasing decisions became more price-sensitive with defensive motives. Providing more value coupled with a lower price will become a trend. However, there’s an important risk for companies who use extreme discounts to reach short-term goals. This is a race for those who know how to build a sustainable digital commerce presence with a long-term perspective. The key here is to develop sustainable, personalized promotions for customers. 

Customer behavior has changed

On the other hand, we estimate that more than 15% of consumers started browsing online shops for the first time. There is an opportunity with a new customer segment who have not developed loyalty toward a certain e-commerce site/brand yet. The competition in the global digital commerce market has peaked, with conventional brands developing digital channels and already existing digital brands expanding their target audiences. 

Even without analyzing the ultimate impact of COVID-19, it’s not difficult to estimate that customer personas, behaviors, and expectations are drastically changing. We anticipate that some changes in customer behavior and expectations during this period will become permanent. Physical retail stores were increasingly becoming experience hubs – now this transition will be accelerated. Consumers will demand online shopping alternatives more than ever before. The companies who are aware of this fact are going to be much more prepared for what the future brings.

Keep a close eye on changing behavior

As Inveon, we suggest the retailers and FMCG companies should track customer behavior closely during these times, as they will define the future of the global industry. While the competition in the digital commerce market is getting more intense, there are also many emerging opportunities that companies can benefit from. Building dynamic strategies around fast-changing customer needs, wants, and demands and prioritizing efforts according to these strategies is what would provide market players with a solid competitive advantage.

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