The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses, marketers, and customers to rethink how they communicate, interact, and do business. Companies around the world are having to adapt to an ever-changing and unprecedented business environment. Many organizations have implemented new practices and strategies to stay afloat during these challenging times and comply with restrictions, social distancing measures and other restrictions that have been put in place. As a result, online activity has accelerated significantly since the start of the pandemic, and many of these new digital trends are expected to continue post-COVID as more businesses start using “new normal“.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the outstanding post-COVID digital trends that will remain post-COVID.
Changing consumer behavior
Google Trends is a Google service that analyzes how popular different search terms are in Google search in different regions and languages. After analyzing thousands of Google Trends data points on retail search across twenty-three different markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Google determined that some consumer behavior patterns have accelerated due to the impact of the pandemic:
- Consumers shop in storefronts online
- Consumers carefully consider who they buy from
- Consumers expect better quality than ever
- Consumers expect extensive shipping options for everything
- Consumer demand will remain dynamic
For businesses to succeed in moving forward, they need to be able to respond and adapt well, understand changing consumer demands, and make it easy for customers to view, buy, and receive their products. Keeping up with these new consumer trends, made more apparent by COVID, will ensure your business continues to thrive.
New Google Search Types
Skill-based inquiries have increased significantly throughout the pandemic. As more people stayed at home and with limited services, more consumers took a more assertive approach to DIY. An increasing number of consumers were looking for skills to perform everyday household chores such as cooking, decorating, landscaping, personal care and a range of other tasks. With more free time, more consumers have also started looking online for inspiration on how to improve their home, how to have fun at home, and of course, how to stay in touch with their loved ones.
Search phrases that have become more common during the pandemic and are expected to continue to be widely used include:
- “Knowledge‘, such as ‘How to make a robot’, a popular search term in Nigeria.
- “Inspiration/Ideas“, such as “home gym ideas”, a popular search term in Germany.
- “Work from home”, such as “comfortable office chair” is a popular search term in France.
- “well-being‘, such as ‘virtual gym’, a popular search term in Spain.
- “Community“, such as “games to play with friends”, a popular search term in Spain.
- “Entertainment Searchfor example, “online board games” is a popular search term in France.
This trend creates a great opportunity for digital marketers to create optimized content for these search terms. For example, if your company sells paint, you could start a blog with articles like “How to choose the right paint color for the interior“,”Living Room Decor Ideas“, or “ways to make drawing fun for the whole family“. Creating content that is tailored to the new post-pandemic consumer search behavior will help increase your online visibility, increase organic traffic, and generate more leads to promote your business.
More online experience
Over the past few months, many consumers have embraced the online experience like never before. Many people have taken classes online, visited museums virtually, gone shopping, exercised via zoom, participated in video conferences, hosted online parties and had countless other online experiences. While COVID has certainly accelerated the growth of various online experiences, convenience and ease of access is what many consumers enjoy and are used to.
Moving forward, the digital experience will continue to play an important role for both customers and businesses. To keep up with this new digital trend, business owners need to 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 robust processes in place, this is a great place to start. In the future, there will be more focus than ever on the online experience, and consumers will always gravitate towards companies that offer the best customer experience.
E-commerce vs. brick and mortar
Google reports that what they call “seismic shift» for online shopping. A sequel is expected, stating that “while many people would rather return to in-store shopping to see, touch and try on products, new habits have formed around online shopping that have irrevocably changed the way consumers shop.”
This change in dynamics will have a significant impact on the role of the physical storefront in the future. Instead of the physical store being the primary means of interaction with customers, it will move online. There are many opportunities for retailers to improve online shopping, such as using virtual reality tools to see clothes in more detail and see the exact size of clothes.
The combination of a physical storefront and an ecommerce setup can actually be the perfect solution for helping business owners stay relevant so they can continue to meet their customers’ needs. Google predicts that “this could mean a fundamental rethinking of the strategic role of different touchpoints, with discovery and inspiration happening online and satisfaction and subsequent service more suited to a physical store.“Retailers must strike the right balance and consistently deliver superior offline and online experiences to remain competitive in the post-COVID era.
Make sure your business is ready for the ‘new normal’ after COVID
If we have learned anything during this pandemic, it is the importance of resilience and adaptability. The COVID-19 crisis has been unprecedented and has greatly accelerated the adoption of digital products, services, tools and more. Moreover, it also had a significant impact on the behavior, demands and expectations of consumers.
To make sure you continue to meet changing consumer demands and are ready for the “new normal”, be sure to contact our team at Mikesell Digital Consulting. Our team works hard to keep abreast of the latest digital trends to help our clients capitalize on new opportunities, improve their business processes and deliver the best possible experience for their clients.