New Buying Patterns and the Customer Experience
- Makayla Ruebush
- 3 March 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the landscape of our lives. These changes include less travel, an increase in remote workers, and more online shopping and online social interactions. As a result of this transformation, customer behavior has also shifted.
Many of the changes caused by COVID are expected to remain even after the pandemic is over; therefore, companies must be prepared to adapt to these changes. In this article, we explore how the pandemic has changed U.S. buying patterns, how this impacts the customer experience, and how businesses can adapt.
The Surge of Digital Interactions
The pandemic has resulted in a surge of digital interactions. Due to people spending more time at home, the usage of online communication tools such as Zoom and social media platforms have increased. Online shopping has also increased. Many of these changes are expected to be long-lasting because they provide more convenience to people and help them to save time and money.
Due to the expansion of the digital world, companies need to be able to meet the increased customer demand for online options in order to make sure that their customers stay connected to their brand. The increased demand from customers also includes the desire for excellent customer support, with options such as chat and contact center support.
The Shift in U.S. Buying Patterns
The pandemic has changed U.S. buying patterns and this has impacted the customer experience. Here are some of the key ways in which buyers are shopping differently according to an article by McKinsey.com that show changes in U.S. shopping behaviors.
● As can be expected, online shopping has increased the most for essential goods and for entertainment products. However, “around 40 percent of US consumers have reduced spending in general, and they expect to continue to cut back on nonessentials specifically” during the pandemic.
● High-income earners and Millennials shop online more than other groups.
● Due to a feeling of uncertainty about the economy, customers are expecting to get more value for their purchases.
● Americans are spending more time on entertainment channels, news, and home fitness.
● “As economies reopen, 73 percent of consumers are still hesitant to resume regular activities outside the home.” Customers are especially concerned about crowded environments.
How the New Buying Patterns Are Impacting Brands
Here are some of the significant ways that brands are being impacted by the new buying patterns of customers.
● A majority of American customers have tried new shopping options as a result of changes in the economy, store availability, value, and convenience. This has also led to shifts in brand loyalty “with 36 percent of consumers trying a new product brand and 25 percent incorporating a new private-label brand. Of consumers who have tried different brands, 73 percent intend to continue to incorporate the new brands into their routine”, according to the article by McKinsey.com.
● Customers are concerned about the hygiene and safety of physical stores, which means that stores need to address these concerns and adhere to proper procedures.
The shifts in customer buying patterns highlight the need for companies to continuously monitor customer behaviors for changes and to focus on providing convenience, availability, and value.
CH Consulting Group provides unparalleled expertise in the Contact Center and Customer Experience (CX) verticals. We have a nationwide team of industry veterans that can assist you to achieve exponential growth, manage change, and generate profit. For a comprehensive CX assessment and strategic plan customized for your unique business needs, connect with us here today.