By Matt Doyle, the VP and Co-Founder of Excel Builders, a truly unique custom home builder, creating homes that make every day easier.
The lockdowns put in place over the last year have resulted in massive shifts in consumer behavior. Some of these changes are likely to be permanent, and businesses need to be prepared.
Some of these changes hit me very close to home because “home” is my business. I develop custom homes, and changes in lifestyle are likely to impact home life first. However, many of these changes will soon begin to hit the rest of the market.
Here are three of the most important changes that have been measured in new statistics and some tips as to how to successfully navigate these major shifts in consumer behavior.
Health is more important than ever.
Consumers are choosing to place more weight on health than ever before. They report that they factor health into their decisions more than they did in the past. They’re also prioritizing spending on health before other considerations.
Businesses can respond to these changes by emphasizing the role that health plays in their products. As a home builder, I’m going to explore how I can build the health benefits of certain features (natural lighting, nontoxic materials, etc.) into my advertising.
If you already sell health products, this may be the time to get aggressive about advertising those benefits. For now, consumers may be willing to experiment with different brands. However, that won’t last forever.
Buyers are more thoughtful about value.
Buyers are more committed to value because instability has made them warier of premium prices. The same research found that cost was the main driver behind consumers who chose to jump from a trusted brand to a different one.
Businesses can respond to these changes by reviewing what they offer, and exploring whether they can or should make changes to catch up with consumer preferences. It may also be a good idea for some businesses to choose to promote the most affordable version of their products.
Other businesses may need to consider releasing new versions of their products that can compete with consumer’s latest priorities.
More of the buyer’s journey is happening online.
All types of businesses have been moving online for several years now. However, the lockdown dramatically increased the number of businesses that needed to go online, and the kind of accommodations that they had to offer. During the lockdown, e-commerce grew to account for 16% of all sales. This growth didn’t simply come from retail goods. It came from items like groceries, food delivery services, and other areas where online adoption has been slow.
In my own business, I’ve seen clients increasingly requesting to handle tasks like signing contracts online.
Businesses can respond to these changes by modernizing their operations even more. Take advantage of new technologies like Zoom or other live streaming software to handle communication, and look for more ways to move tasks online.
Be ready for all the changes in consumer behavior.
The end of lockdown is likely to drive a lot of changes in consumer behavior. Now, you know some of the ways that you adapt. Remember to emphasize healthy benefits if your products have any.
Consider how you can promote the more value-driven products in your catalog. If you can’t do that, consider introducing new products that are designed to appeal to practical buyers.
Finally, make sure that your products are as accessible as possible online. Update your website, and if necessary, add new features that allow your customers to handle more of the buying process without leaving home.
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