The new needs of the post-covid consumer
E-commerce, Retail

The new needs of the post-covid consumer

How much has Covid-19 transformed the habits of the average consumer? What impact did it have in terms of numbers, channels and purchasing methods? The digital transformation began in a completely unexpected way.
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How have consumer habits changed during the Covid-19 health emergency?
Compared to a very price-oriented logic, today we are witnessing a purchasing orientation based on experience . This is what emerges from the SAS research “Experience 2030: has Covid-19 created a new kind of customer?” where more than 10,000 consumers were interviewed, including Italians.

In Italy, one-third of customers say they switch brands when faced with a single negative experience, and 65% say they are willing to pay a higher price for any brand’s products or services that deliver a good customer experience.

The three areas of change

  • Transparency in the first place

The study conducted by BIP ” Covid-19: an overview of customer lifestyle changes and the arising of new trends ” underlines how one of the most significant changes at a social level is represented by the request for transparency from all fronts: as workers, customers, citizens , people.
The sense of fear and uncertainty has led people to ask institutions and brands for greater clarity and transparency.

  • Digital always

If until two years ago in Italy it was still difficult to think of totally digital experiences, today we have to change our minds. The growth of online shopping for goods and services has become exponential and today has two million new digital shoppers.
So much so that e-commerce have found themselves accelerating and investing in new processes that are becoming real market trends: contacless payments, AI, omnichannel experience, etc.

  • Neighbors? Not necessarily

Smartworking, distance learning and shopping on the web have made us understand that today it is possible to manage almost everything, even remotely.

New assets for the customer experience

In what is now called the “new normal”, the elements that contribute to the creation of a positive experience for customers are many.

  • Flexibility of returns and refunds

In the SAS research it emerges that 26% of the Italians interviewed prefer brands that provide flexible return policies and exchanges.

Over the past year, forward-thinking companies have recognized the potential of a customer-centric return policy to meet new needs.
According to UPS estimates, 68% of consumers favor brands that have simple and affordable returns and refunds. A tool that has now become a marketing strategy capable of increasing conversions.

  • Proactive and omnichannel customer service

For 25% of the sample, the presence of an accessible, efficient and innovative assistance service is a determining factor in choosing one brand over another.
In fact, in the previous articles, we analyzed both the mistakes to avoid in order to adopt an omnichannel-oriented strategy, and the degree of maturity of Italian companies and the related investments to be made.

  • Click and Collect

In terms of “omnichannel”, an approach that has shown great interest in consumers in recent months is that of “Click and Collect”. A strategy that aims to reduce delivery times and generate traffic in the points of sale by integrating online and offline. In fact, the idea is to give customers the opportunity to order a product online and go and collect it a few hours later in the physical store.

Proximity commerce

In a great context of uncertainty, new spaces for action have been created for small local producers and traders.
In fact, the digitization of purchases from local shops has become a very widespread common practice. Among the advantages that proximity e-commerce is able to give to customers we certainly see a personalized and tailored experience, thanks to a more “humanized” relationship between store and consumer.

  • Phygital

The “phygital” experience represents the best of digital logic, such as speed and immediacy, integrated with the advantages of physical experience: interaction with people. A post-covid19 accelerating trend that is able to satisfy the most demanding and interconnected customers.

  • Sustainability and ethics

Customers are increasingly sensitive and attentive to brands that demonstrate real social responsibility. Information on products, production processes, supply chains and the condition of workers represent a determining factor in the orientation towards consumption. A need born from the search for clarity and transparency that in an uncertain scenario is able to reassure consumers.

Customers are increasingly demanding and unwilling to rely on brands that do not offer shopping experiences in line with their needs. To increase loyalty and attract new consumers, companies must engage in strategies that focus on experience and relationships.