Studying consumer behavior consistently and thoroughly is what separates successful businesses from their peers. Covid is one of the biggest influences on consumer behavior today...but how?
From switching to remote work to using same-day grocery delivery, life looks a little different today. While many of these services were already available in the past, they’ve now taken precedence as the go-to option for most. Consumer behavior isn’t just a bandwagon trend, but a larger pattern that speaks to lifestyle changes for everyday people.
Here are five major areas of consumer behavior that have been heavily influenced by Covid and what your business should prepare for.
Three Major Factors Influence Consumer Behavior
Did you know good habits are just as hard to break as bad habits? Consumer behavior has shifted to be more scrutinizing and flexible with purchasing decisions.
The three major factors that influence consumer behavior are:
Where do people live? What are some environmental or city-based obstacles that keep them from getting what they need locally? Businesses need to be mindful of the details that govern people’s lives, such as:
- Sales tax differences in each state
- Shipping rules for specialized products, such as alcohol or CBD
How well the economy is doing will always drive people’s decision to buy or save.
Industries doing poorly under Covid:
- Travel and hospitality
- Restaurants and bars
Industries doing well under Covid:
- Home delivery services
Millennials, followed closely by Gen Z, are the most value-driven consumers to date. They don’t just want an affordable price: they want to know their dollar is going to an ethical and sustainable business model.
“The addition of mobile application technology to the medical field has opened many doors for patients. They now have direct access to accurate medical information from the convenience of their mobile handheld devices.”
Remote Work Is Becoming the New Standard Worldwide
The days of the in-person office haven’t come to an end, but they’ve certainly lost their appeal. Remote work options have shown a slew of benefits for both businesses and workers.
Remote work, just like any other working process, still needs to be look at critically. Alan Felstead from New Technology, Work And Employment explores how remote work is closely tied to improve work-life balance for workers. He also states that work intensification, and the inability to ‘switch off’, is often compromised in remote work.
“When it comes to the work of doctors, nurses, and technicians on the frontline of COVID-19 treatment, the term “burnout” has a loaded meaning beyond what we might think about it. That’s because when we think of burnout, we think of exhaustion, overwork, and lack of motivation that requires time off and relaxation.”
Day-To-Day Necessities Have Shifted to Digital
Even a basic trip to the store has turned into a digital-focused effort. Covid has implemented digital methods as the go-to standard, meaning businesses need to get comfortable with the online space.
There’s a big difference between preference and opportunity, states Angus Deaton of Economics And Consumer Behavior. Customers can’t be invested in what they don’t know about, which puts pressure on businesses to communicate their offerings on a very accessible scale.
What digital offerings do businesses need to consider? These include (but aren’t limited to):
- Mobile optimization
- Home delivery
“Forbes revealed digital health startups to have raised nearly $150 billion in 2021 so far. Funding needs to encompass different layers of the UX design experience. While earlier iterations of digital health resources were more basic, standards have risen much higher nowadays.”
Related: Today’s Role of AI in Healthcare
More Free Time Means More Entertainment
The pandemic has put people into two extremes. Those who have lost their jobs or switched to a remote model have a lot of free time. Those who have to pick up the slack barely have any time at all.
Those with more free time are in a position to seek out more entertainment, such as buying more movies, downloading video games, and watching live streams. It’s important to remember that people process story-driven narratives and promotional (marketing) narratives very differently, stresses L. J. Shrum of The Psychology Of Entertainment Media. Blurring the lines too much can make a business’s marketing efforts come off as insincere.
Global Travel and In-Person College Are Shifted Industries
Covid has completely upheaved what we view as normal. In-person college is a tumultuous effort at best, while global travel has all but screeched to a halt.
Domestic tourism, as a result, has risen as a safer option (though not by much). Online learning is rising as the preferred study option, too, though not without its challenges. Just like employers have been struggling with adapting to remote work, students not already accustomed to remote classes are struggling with online models.
A recent report by CNBC found many students are instead choosing to take time off instead of learn under Covid. Only time will tell if in-person college remains relevant.
Related: COVID-19: The Unsung Heroes
Covid has shifted consumer behavior in more ways than one. While it sounds nice to hope things will ‘go back to normal’ soon, it’s wise to adapt to these changes for the long-term.
Remote work was already becoming a preferred working option before the pandemic hit, according to Upwork’s 2019-2020 survey. Online learning is rapidly replacing in-person learning for the foreseeable future. Customers are still highly value-driven, even in a world prioritized by safety and convenience.
Your business has plenty of information to start making meaningful switches that resonate with consumers today.