The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, including the way we shop. Consumer behaviour has permanently changed due to our restricted environment. This Christmas will undoubtedly be different to previous years as the global health crisis has widened consumer appetite for choice and has introduced unexpected shifts in consumer behaviour.
Today, safety and uncertainty remain dominant features of daily life, and this is altering both how consumers shop and what they plan to purchase. Individuals will now turn to apps and websites to buy and take advantage of click-and-collect or home delivery as an option that provides safety and convenience.
This drastic change in consumer behaviour has been a challenge for many brands as they try to attract and retain customer loyalty online while they promptly attempt to keep operations running smoothly to build business and to keep customers satisfied.
What is Brand Loyalty?
57% of consumers consider themselves “brand loyalists.” So, what exactly motivates consumers to pledge allegiance to a brand?
Brand loyalty tends to be an emotionally charged decision. The consumer is devoted to a particular brand and believes only a certain brand will meet their expectations that can identify with their lifestyle and values. It is important for retailers to have a large loyal customer base. Loyalty enables the customer to develop habits, such as making purchases from the same brand repeatedly, regardless of a competitor’s actions.
Although, more than ever, businesses must be prepared to understand the changes in consumer behaviour. Since March, over 60% of global consumers have tried a new shopping behaviour in response to economic pressures, store closings, and changing priorities. As for retailers, many have responded immensely with the prompt rollout of new technologies, new apps, and new ways of meeting the consumer’s needs as we see an accelerated shift towards ecommerce for the foreseeable future.
To see how brands can step up in 2021, click here.
The Digital Consumer
As we are evidently showing rapid movement into a digital era, social proof has challenged the traditional idea of brand recognition as online shoppers now have endless combinations of channels, devices, and touchpoints.
The use of ecommerce and digital channels has demonstrated a significant improvement in helping to maintain growth for many businesses and to engage with new and existing customers. This year alone, digital trading has increased as in-store experiences have declined due to lockdown and various restrictions. For that reason, digital is the key channel both for your consumer and brand growth, so enhancing and streamlining customer experience is now critical.
Consumer habits have shifted, driven by ways their lifestyles have been forced to change as a result of the global health crisis. With many having access to various channels, individuals are increasingly opting for online shopping.37% of shoppers plan to purchase more online this year than the last.
As it is important for retailers to be prepared for more unforeseen situations and evolving consumer habits in the future, one way which can help businesses to unlock growth through harsh times is by using omnichannel technology.
As for the recent surge in digital and ecommerce systems, adopting omnichannel technology will help retailers to retain customers through online sales as technology has become a dominant feature in our day-to-day living and purchase decision making.
Omnichannel approaches and technology enables organisations to optimise channels to their full potential and puts the customer at the centre of the strategy to help drive business and increase sales. This represents an opportunity for businesses to connect with large numbers of consumers who have adopted new habits and are increasingly open to new brands.
Using Data to Better Understand Customers
Businesses have an opportunity to win loyalty by making their omnichannel shopping experience stand out, understanding what their customers want, and targeting them with appealing but relevant products they may be familiar with.
However, the main challenge brands face during 2020 is a fragmented customer landscape, which makes it difficult to understand customer preferences and to reach them on the right channel.
Consumers are increasingly using multiple platforms to connect with brands, transforming how they make their way through the buyer’s journey. Brands need to understand the complexity of consumer shopping behaviour to alter their digital strategy, and to adapt their communications to align with customer values.
At Data Clarity, we have developed ClarityOmnivue, a full end to end data management system to unify data sources and gain a full view of customers, stock, and business information. We have worked with retailers like Paul Smith to develop ClarityOmnivue that has given them the ability to easily identify and reconcile their data and providing all the information they need to know about a single customer. For more information, click here.
By having the right systems in place, brands can responsibly collect, analyse and take action on data in real time, helping them to understand their customers’ preferences and context.
Making practical use of customer data enables brands to instantly connect with customers using hyper personalised messages on the right channel, at the right time. At the same time, leading omnichannel brands will use the opportunity to invite customers into store for browsing, as 45% still plan to shop to some degree in stores.
Ultimately, brands that have taken the time to understand how their customers have changed and invested in the digital and omnichannel capabilities to offer them convenience, safety and certainty will succeed and can build long lasting customer loyalty.
To discover how you can do more as a business, contact us today.