Published on March 14, 2023
The post-COVID consumer – all about convenience
The COVID pandemic changed many things about how consumers interact with businesses, including an altering of basic expectations and an evolution of new behaviors. It’s hard to know how long some of these trends may last but as a business owner, increasing customer satisfaction and building consumer loyalty is crucial.
The overriding lesson is that convenience (not cash) is now king. Your customers increasingly want to order their product or service from the mobile phone, tablet or laptop. Additionally, they expect their product to arrive or service to be provided as soon as possible.
Here are a few ways that consumer expectations have changed in the last three years.
Consider the rise of delivery services like Door Dash for takeout food and Shipt for groceries. Amazon has changed the market, and even if you don’t operate in the restaurant or grocery industry, creating ways to deliver products to your customers should be discussed.
Boomers buying online
It’s not just consumers of a certain age who buy online anymore. According to DigitalCommerce360.com 92 percent of Baby Boomers shop online as well.
Consumers increasingly value the opportunity to shop both online and in-store, whatever is more convenient for them. A November 2021 study by Momentive indicates that 56 percent of U.S. adults prefer to shop online and in-store and 24 percent are less likely to make an online purchase at a business without a storefront.
Click and collect
Defined as the ability to buy online and pick up in store or curbside, the “click and collect” model is here to stay, especially for the retail and hospitality sectors. Even the process for purchasing a new vehicle has been streamlined for convenient pickup or delivery.
E-sigs are everywhere
Speaking of buying a new vehicle, remember when you had to hand sign countless forms at the dealership? That process is no longer necessary. Businesses of all sizes and industries are increasingly incorporating e-signatures into the process to increase customer convenience and speed up the final sale.
Loyalty program use skyrockets
Everyone likes a reward or an incentive. Hence the popularity of loyalty programs from groceries to car parts to art supplies. Customers not only can track their loyalty points or awards online or on your app, but such programs can help track important data you can use to target customers with specific needs and interests. Nearly 80 percent of consumers indicate that good loyalty programs influence them, according to eMarketer.
Product discovery has evolved
Amazon is the first place many consumers go to find certain products, with online giant prioritizing storefront features for businesses. Featuring your products on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook can also increase your audience. These sites can further strengthen your online brand and increase sales.
The emphasis on convenience, speed and online is here to stay post-pandemic. By adjusting to consumer expectations, you will be better positioned for sustained revenue growth and brand success.