The COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses, marketers, and customers to rethink how they communicate, interact and do business. Companies all over the world have had to adapt to an ever-changing and unprecedented business environment. Many organizations have adopted new practices and strategies to stay afloat amidst these difficult times and stay in line with lockdowns, social distancing measures, and other imposed restrictions. As a result, online activity has been accelerated significantly since the beginning of the pandemic, and many of these new digital trends are expected to continue post-COVID as more businesses begin to embrace “the new norm”.
Let’s take a closer look at some standout post-COVID digital trends that are here to stay post-COVID.
Shift In Consumer Behavior
Google Trends is a Google service that analyzes how popular different search terms are in Google Search across many regions and languages. Analyzing thousands of Google Trends retail search data points from twenty-three different markets across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, Google determined that several consumer behaviors have been accelerated due to the impact of the pandemic:
- Consumers are taking window shopping online
- Consumers are carefully considering who they buy from
- Consumers expect better value than ever
- Consumers expect extensive delivery options for everything
- Consumer demand will remain dynamic
For businesses to succeed moving forward, they need to be able to respond and adapt well, understand the changing demands of consumers, and make it easy for customers to browse, buy and receive their products. Meeting these new consumer behavioral trends that became more evident through COVID will ensure your business continues to thrive.
New Types Of Google Searches
Throughout the pandemic, there was a significant increase in skills-based searches. With more people confined to their homes and with limited services available, more consumers took a more assertive approach to DIY. An increasing number of consumers sought the skills to complete everyday tasks at home, such as cooking, decorating, landscaping, grooming, and a range of other tasks. With more time on their hands, more consumers also began to search for inspiration for home improvements online, how to stay entertained at home, and of course, how to remain connected with their loved ones.
Search phrases that have become more common during the pandemic and are expected to continue to feature highly include:
- “Knowledge” searches such as “How to make a robot”, a popular search term in Nigeria.
- “Inspiration/Ideas” searches such as “home gym ideas”, a popular search term in Germany.
- “Work from home” searches such as “comfortable office chair”, a popular search term in France.
- “Well-being” searches such as “virtual gym”, a popular search term in Spain.
- “Community” searches such as “games to play with friends”, a popular search term in Spain.
- “Entertainment searches” such as “online board games”, a popular search term in France.
This trend creates an excellent opportunity for digital marketers to produce optimized content for these search terms. For example, if your company sells paint, you could start a blog featuring articles such as “How to choose the right paint color for your interior”, “Living room decor ideas”, or “ways to make painting fun for the whole family”. Producing content tailored to consumer’s new post-pandemic search behaviors will help to boost your visibility online, increase organic traffic, and generate more leads for your business moving forward.
More Online Experiences
Over the last number of months, many consumers have embraced online experiences like never before. Many people took classes online, visited museums virtually, went shopping, worked out via zoom, took part in video conference calls, hosted online parties, and had countless more online experiences. While COVID certainly accelerated the growth of various online experiences, the convenience and ease of access is something that many consumers enjoy and have become accustomed to.
Moving forward, the digital experience will continue to play an essential role for customers and businesses alike. To meet this new digital trend, business owners should pay close attention to how they can best serve their customers online. Offering a seamless user experience on your website, ensuring effective communication, and having reliable processes in place is an excellent place to start. There will be more focus than ever on online experiences in the future, and consumers will always gravitate towards those companies that offer the best customer experience.
Ecommerce Vs. Brick And Mortar
Google reports that there has been what they call a “seismic shift” to online shopping. It is expected to continue, saying that “while many people will choose to return to in-store shopping to look at, touch, and try on products, new habits have formed around online shopping that has irrevocably changed the way the consumer buys.”
This change in dynamic will have a significant impact on the role of the physical storefront in the future. Instead of the brick-and-mortar store being the primary means of interacting with customers, this will shift to online. For retailers, there are many opportunities to enhance the online shopping experience, such as using VR tools to see the clothing in more detail and to see the precise size of the clothing.
A combination of a physical storefront and an e-commerce setup might, in fact, be the perfect solution to help business owners to stay relevant so they can continue to meet their customers’ needs. Google predicts that “this might mean a fundamental rethink of the strategic role of different touchpoints, with discovery and inspiration happening online and fulfillment and aftercare more suited to the physical store.” Retailers must ensure they strike the right balance and deliver a consistently superior experience offline and online to stay competitive in the post-COVID era.
Make Sure Your Business Is Prepared For The Post-COVID “New Norm”
If we have learned anything through this pandemic, it’s the importance of resilience and adaptability. The COVID-19 crisis was unprecedented and has vastly accelerated the uptake of digital products, services, tools, and so much more. What’s more, it has also had a significant impact on consumer behavior, demands, and expectations.
To ensure that you continue to meet the changing demands of consumers and that you are ready for the “new norm”, be sure to get in touch with our team at Mikesell Digital Consulting. Our team works hard to stay up-to-date with the latest digital trends to help our clients to capitalize on new opportunities, improve their business processes and provide the best possible experience for their customers.