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Everyone is responding to Coronavirus in a different way with some people locking up their credit cards to save money due to uncertain financial income and others panic-buying all the hygiene products they can find. Equally there are many consumers just trying to keep a normal state of mind and maintain their normal online and in person shopping habits. Retail wise Laura Ashley, Debenhams, Brighthouse are all in administration due to COVID-19. Cath Kidston have closed all 60 UK stores with loss of 900 jobs, businesses will need to consider their consumer and research now more than ever the exact customer they are pitching to to create personalized marketing strategies.

Each Generation is reacting differently

  • Gen Z and Millennials. Despite some people questioning if young people care about the pandemic it’s the GenZ and Millennial generation which have shown to be alerting their habits including: cutting back on spending, stocking up on items, and spending less on experiences a study by First Insight found that 96% of Millennials and Gen Z’s are concerned about the pandemic and its effects on the economy.
  • Gen X and Boomers. A generation who have potentially been through and seen more, their buying habits haven’t altered nearly as much as Gen Z and Millennials with only 24% of Boomers and 34% of Gen X letting the coronavirus have an impact on what they’re buying. Boomers have also been shown to be buying more health products to boost their immunity and stay healthy, could this be a reaction to the ever changing predictions that those aged over 60 are more at risk.

Offer the option of finance

Customers are concerned about where they’re spending their money and if they need to be saving. Giving customers the option of finance allows them to split a price which they initially may have thought was out of their range.
Big Eye Deers have helped install multiple finance options on sites including: Klana, Brothers finance and Hitachi give us a shout if you’d like to integrate a finance module into your site. 

Go Live on your Social Media platforms

Customers are online more now than before the pandemic and they are spending more time deciding where to spend their potentially limited money. Going live on Instagram/Facebook/YouTube allows you to break down that wall between yourself and the customer to showcase how great your products are, if customers can see your products in real time and feel like they’ve built up a relationship with you or someone on your team they are more likely to engage with your content and lead to a potential sale. 

Ideas to reach your customers: 

Augmented reality has become popular during the pandemic to attempt to recreate the idea of trying in store. AR which is often referred to in gaming terms has grown to other areas like health care, books, and now e-commerce.

  • Last year Gucci with tech partner Wannaby added an AR feature to the Gucci App that allows customers to ‘try on’ their Ace sneaker. With the option to change the design and view it in real time. Allowing customers to preview the item before purchase to avoid the need to return.

  • Again in 2019 IKEA launched their online sofa builder, after the internet went to town creating some incredible (and slightly unrealistic) sofa designs IKEA realised they were on to something and encouraged customers to really embrace their creative side. Originally starting with 2 sofa ranges IKEA added an extra 3 pretty quickly. The sofa builder allows customers to add sections to their sofa and it will then give you a price for your build. The entire sofa comes in sections and in true IKEA style, flat packed.

Use of Influencers and user generated content to prove products work (feedback and reviews as posts):

  • User generated content can be seen as free advertising from the customer. The customer was happy with the product, has taken a picture of it and then shares it on his or her social media. Customers are not paid for this. It is an authentic expression of their appreciation which other customers will view as an unbiased opinion.
  • Influencer generated content is great for having control over what is being presented to the customer. The content would’ve been carefully staged including the text supporting the content although obviously there is a cost involved in this style of marketing.
  • Coco and eve are a great example of how they’ve incorporated user generated content onto their home page. They have organic reviews from customers who have also provided images to support their comments. 

*screen shot from uk.cocoandeve.com

The pandemic has affected consumers behaviour now and it doesn’t look like it’s changing any time soon.
Retailers need to improve shopping efficiency, through site speed and design to ensure that they are ready to respond rapidly to shifting needs as the pandemic evolves.

By Zoe

17 / 11 / 2020

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