The last year and a half has definitely been worthy content for the history books. From an unprecedented global virus to socioeconomic turmoil, it’s hard to predict which consumer-based trends will be short-lived and which trends are here to stay.
While the whirlwind pandemic arrived, dominated, and lingered, many things have been forced to follow suit. As cities and whole countries shut down, people were left without their usual provisions, pastime activities, social interactions—basically life as we know it had changed.
It’s said that a habit takes 6 weeks to become a lifestyle, and we’ve been navigating this pandemic-laden world for nearly 2 years now. So, if that saying proves true, it implies that a majority of consumers have shifted their shopping habits—for good.
But, in this ever-evolving landscape, are COVID-19-related shopping trends here to stay? And if so, how is consumerism being redefined in the age of COVID-19?
To answer that question, we’ve narrowed down the top e-commerce trends that have come to the forefront during the COVID-19 landscape. Here’s what we found:
At the end of the day, whether or not a customer comes back as a repeat buyer is what matters most. The customer experience is a large part of why (or why not) they’d come back for a second purchase—or give a positive word-of-mouth review. Whether it’s sending a free gift with purchase, donating to a charity of the buyer’s choice, providing an easy-to-use platform, or the like—experience is key to long-term brand building, retention, and what buyers enjoy.
In the last year, subscription boxes have taken the e-commerce world by storm. Whether you’re a food fanatic, a hygiene addict, or something in between, there’s a subscription for you. The pandemic made it more difficult for shoppers to find what they need—especially in more rural areas. But as more brands began to offer subscription plans, the convenience of having what you need – and want – delivered directly to your door proves to be a popular trend that’s definitely on the up-and-up.
Awareness & Inclusivity
Now more than ever, consumers expect brands to act in support of social and ethical movements—especially when it comes to the greater good of society. Shoppers also want to know that the brands they support make a statement in a positive way and show diversity in their advertising. Brands have a heavy-handed influence, so it’s important that they lead by example. A focus on doing what’s right matters to consumers and gives them more of a reason to shop at one place over another.
Brand Loyalty is Out the Door
In the early days of the pandemic, many companies found it difficult to keep up with supply chain issues and purchasing demand. As many shoppers have a brand-of-choice for everyday products such as toilet paper or mouthwash (both of which were in extremely short supply), they’ve been forced to try new brands in lieu of their usual. Due to product availability, brand loyalty has been pushed aside as shoppers explore new brands, places, and shopping methods.
Convenience & Reliability
As consumers continue to rely on digital services, a streamlined customer shopping platform is important. Anytime, 24/7, you can shop for what you want, and oftentimes, get it within 48 hours—all without getting off your couch. Shoppers expect brands to be reliable, punctual, and approachable in terms of customer service, product, and quality.
During the height of the pandemic, many local businesses had to close their doors. As they reopen, there’s a heightened consideration to support small businesses and domestically-made products. Plus, an added benefit to shopping locally is that you invest directly into your community, allowing for more businesses to open, create jobs, and generate an economic boost. Shoppers can not only see their hard-earned money flow through the streets of their city, but they can also feel the camaraderie out and about in their city.
In-person No More
The pandemic really highlighted the ability for people to connect, work, and stay in touch—no matter the distance. Even with physical restrictions in place, shoppers were able to adapt and still find things to buy. Instead of focusing on the in-store experience, many brands started showcasing their products in real life by providing more in-depth product videos or utilizing brand ambassadors. Consumers enjoy knowing how a product looks and works without being there physically prior to purchase.
As online shopping has exponentially increased globally in the last year or so, it’s safe to say that buyer trends have adapted as well. Many consumer habits have become hyper-focused, allowing brands to alter their strategies in order to keep up with the new demands. How brands connect with potential consumers is critical, especially when it comes to retention and building a positive reputation. What consumers are buying and how they’re doing it has created an ever-evolving industry of new ideas, faster implementation, and access to just about anything your heart desires. And this is just the beginning.
For more information on how Spaceshop can help boost your brand and sales on ecommerce channels, please contact us.