Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a major shift in how consumers live their lives. Everyone was impacted as we hunkered down, socially distanced and did what we could to stay safe.

Not surprisingly, we turned to the internet to help us navigate this new world. Some attended school online. Others adapted to Zoom meetings for work. Delivery services gained popularity as they delivered everything from groceries to home gym equipment directly to our door.  And, streaming services caught fire as people looked to binge away their abundance of free time. Even those who weren’t tech-savvy had to get on board quickly. The result? A major shift in online behavior that is important for businesses to recognize as they continue to plan and modify their strategies for 2021.

According to McKinsey, we have covered a “decade in days” when it comes to the adoption of digital. And they predict that this period of contagion, self-isolation, and economic uncertainty will change the way consumers behave for years to come. As a result, companies need to adapt fast in order to reach their target audience.


Trend: Digital Shopping Sets the Standard

Online shopping wasn’t always so popular. However, with some stores closing and others being avoided out of caution, people quickly changed their behavior. Stores like Walmart reported a 74% increase in online sales in Q1 of 2020 compared to same period in 2019. While not surprising during this time of the pandemic, it’s important for businesses to pay attention to this trend since the user experience that visitors enjoy on big-brand sites, like Walmart, have created expectations for digital experiences on all sites regardless of size.

Takeaway: Businesses should leverage their budgets strategically to ensure a good user experience on their websites.


Trend: Social Media Usage is on the Rise

With consumers at home and with more free time, social media usage has risen dramatically. According to GlobalWebIndex, July 2020 had a 10.5% increase in social media usage, compared with July 2019. These social media platforms allow people to connect virtually while remaining socially distant. With so many people on social media for extended periods, it’s important to know that your audience wants to be entertained and not sold to.

Humans have a natural response to see uplifting, inspirational content during difficult times. Instead of hearing about the negative impact of the pandemic itself, consumers are looking for positive content to cheer them up.

Takeaway: Keep your audience engaged by creating and scheduling content that inspires people, highlights how your brand is giving back to the community, demonstrates how your product can make life better despite the pandemic, and share stories of positivity.


Trend: Consumers Are Switching Brands

The pandemic has prompted 75% of US consumers to try a new shopping behavior resulting in a shattering of brand loyalty.

Takeaway: With 36% of consumers trying a new brand and 25% trying a new private-label brand, this is a great opportunity for businesses to find and win over new customers.


Trend:  Businesses are Changing Their Strategies

After noticing the changing trends, big box stores are changing their digital and social media strategies to reach consumers. According to McKinsey, the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the digitization of customer interactions by several years. And these large digital changes are most likely to stick in the long term.

The same behavior big box companies are using could benefit your business. Identifying opportunities to make life easier for your customers and creating a more engaging experience, may be the secret to survival for some businesses.  However, this may not be a comfortable process for many businesses.

Takeaway: Somethings asking for help is the best solution. Electrum Branding can help make this shift from traditional marketing to online digital marketing easier. Contact us today to strategically use your budget to establish a good user experience and maintain consumer engagement.