THE NEEDS OF THE NEW CUSTOMER
COVID-19 has turned out not only to be the most relevant issue worldwide due to its strong impact on health and the economy, but it is also a factor of change in the way of thinking and acting of all of us who inhabit the planet. Without a doubt, this has brought changes in consumer behavior.
Once the latent threat of contagion has subsided and we all return to “normal” life, we will realize that nothing is the same. Our mind and our way of reacting have changed and this will give birth to a new client.
The new customer will modify their consumption patterns by being much more selective in what they buy. Impulse purchases will be held back to a great extent by the lack of a solid economy and, likewise, by the fear that this unknown virus will affect the pocket of families again. It is possible that we will not see purchases with a “sheep” effect again, as happened at the beginning of the crisis in which we saw thousands of families crowding stores to buy toilet paper, just because of ideas started on social networks.
It is to be expected that for a long period we will see less impulsive purchases and more rational purchases, limiting ourselves to what is most necessary.
On the other hand, the new customer will be a much more digital consumer. According to the Expansión site, online purchases have increased 60% as a result of the pandemic and voluntary confinement in Mexico. Purchases that previously showed a certain rejection by the population, such as food purchases, have become a necessity. Of this percentage, it is estimated that a large part of them continue to make online purchases even after this crisis passes.
It is predictable to mention that these changes will imply improvements in delivery logistics, in shopping portals and even in the legislation that protects the consumer from fraud or online theft and in this way, the customer will use e-commerce not as a necessity, but as a treat.
In this sense, the digitization of schools and companies will also adopt new strategies to bring education and work with better indicators and controls that allow remote work to be carried out. For some years now, the Home Office has been perceived in Mexico in a very incipient way, as well as online education, mainly for the middle and upper secondary level. However, given the new needs, digital contact has taken on much greater strength.
THE NEW CONSUMER AND THE NEW COMPANIES
Just as a new consumer is perceived, it must be understood that we must have “new brands” and “new ideologies” in companies that allow us to adapt from the inside out.
Brands must understand that the main thing is to listen to what the new customer requires, what they are worried about, what they want to buy once their economy begins to have stability and what they cannot, or are not interested in buying at the moment. Now is not the time to try to sell by force, because not only will it not happen, but the customer will not feel understood and will prefer other brands. Now is the time to reinvent yourself (once customer needs were heard), to carry out new strategies that adapt to the new customer. It is time to be creators of content of interest that increases the exposure of the brand. It is time to create reciprocal communication channels, that is, that allow brands to offer relevant content and customers to have their say about it. This, without a doubt, will be the most significant remuneration that brands will have today.
It is possible that products and services, as well as promotions, delivery methods, points of sale, among others, need to change, so it is necessary to break with any known scheme and be open to transform in order to remain in the market.
BACK TO BASIC
The new consumer has been in their homes for a long time so their routine has changed almost completely. According to a study by the Mexican Online Sales Association, 85% of consumers are cooking at home, 75% spend time exercising and become more aware of their health, 66% watch live videos to stay informed, and 70% buy fresh and essential products more than 2 times a week.
In addition to this, the new consumer is becoming much more aware of their surroundings, of the importance of the balance between work time and personal or family time, the balance between doing their jobs and taking care of their health. This will lead us to a consumer who seeks to “go back to basics” that is, for a while to make purchases of essential products and will seek (with greater force than was done before) that they are natural products, that do not harm health or the environment, that facilitate their activities and allow them to have a better quality of life.
WHERE ARE WE GOING?
The answer to the question where are we going? it can vary for each company and will depend on the strategy that is rethought. As we know, the client does not behave the same towards all products or towards all companies, so to answer this important question, the solution is to observe, listen and obtain information that allows correct decision-making.
Information is the only tool that will allow us to fully understand our consumer, how they will react to a certain product or service, what information they want to obtain, how they want to make their purchases after the crisis, which products are a priority, among many other questions.
Knowing the new customer is a challenge that only some companies will dare to take as it will take them on a path of innovation from the inside out. Other companies, like this crisis, will disappear.
At ACSI Research, we specialize in doing market research that allows companies to get an X-ray of their customers and make decisions to successfully stay in the market.