Amidst the coronavirus crisis, consumers have become increasingly conscious of their purchasing habits and the brands with which they associate. An IAB research study revealed that 75% of consumers have been likely to favour brands that exhibited clear and frequent communication during the pandemic, showing that the consumers are aware and listening.
80% of consumers also noted they were less likely to interact with brands that seemed to have taken advantage of the coronavirus crisis to further their advertising, noting that it is insensitive to do so. It is vital for retailers to frequently and consistently update their consumers on store policies, hours, and more to show their commitment to the consumer’s best interests, health, and safety. This communication will build trust and loyalty between the consumer and the retailer.
Consumers want retailers to be genuine and transparent right now, but they also want brands that align with their values. With most shoppers turning to online retail, they are exposed to an unlimited amount of brands that will deliver right to their door. With more choice, consumers can use their preferences to rule out brands they don’t like for things like packaging, values and mission, delivery, sustainability and more.
One particular shopping trend during the pandemic is the growing desire to be more conscious of the environmental impact of one’s purchases and thus choose to shop with brands that focus on sustainability and other socially responsible practices. 75% of UK and Irish consumers want retailers to use recycled and recyclable packaging for eCommerce purchases, but only 37% of these consumers are satisfied with the communication from brands on their environmental impact.
Due to the wealth of choice available, consumers can easily switch to a new brand that is better at communicating their values and practices to the public. It’s, therefore, imperative for brands to create a loyal customer base online to prevent the consumer from searching for alternatives.
Some great ways to communicate with consumers during the Covid-19 pandemic are through social media, website pages, blogs. With more time, consumers are making the effort to explore retailer’s sites for information on their values and sustainable practices. They are willing to learn about the brand and interact with it through social channels. Therefore, retailers should use these spaces to portray themselves favourably to the customer and foster relationships with them.
Clear and effective communication is key to good customer relations right now, so it is important for retailers to stay up to date on what trends are swaying consumer preferences and then adjust accordingly to provide a fulfilling online retail experience for the consumer.
Carina Massana Marketing Intern, Scurri