COVID-19 of lasting impact on shopping behavior

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COVID-19 has changed our shopping behavior forever. That is the result of a recent survey among 500 Dutch consumers.

Long lines at the doors, a maximum number of customers per store, everyone on the hand gel: shopping will get an unprecedented makeover in 2020. For 42 percent of the Dutch population this is no reason to adjust the shopping frequency towards traditional stores, but for no less than 49 percent of the Dutch it is indeed a reason to go physical shopping less often.

Physical shopping versus online shopping

For about a third of the respondents (28 percent), COVID-19 is a direct reason to shop online more than before. In addition, another 7 percent of the respondents indicate that they have started shopping much more online.

Convenience, safety, but also assortment are the most frequently mentioned reasons for going digital: “If the supply in the stores comes to a standstill, you can still find specific things online. I used to visit different stores, but now I don’t do this anymore. ”

From clothes to groceries

Consumers who shop more online since COVID-19 indicate that they buy more clothes online than before (35 percent). In addition, products for in and around the house are popular (according to 21 percent of the respondents). More electronics (18 percent) and beauty and health articles (16 percent) are also purchased online. Moreover, 18 percent of Dutch people now also do their ‘normal’ groceries digitally.

Offline shopping is obviously not offside yet. You would prefer to try on clothes for the time being. It’s cozy. And you support the local economy with it. To cite only three reasons from the research.

From lockdown to relaxation

The respondents were also asked to make a prediction for the future. What does the purchasing behavior look like, and does this apply to all product categories? A large majority does not expect any difference compared to before the start of the crisis; remarkable.

As an extension of this, about 22 percent of Dutch people expect to buy clothes online more often, 13 percent have excellent experiences with ordering products online for in and around the house, and 13 percent know their way around electronics well from now on. in the browser.

There is also good news for grocers: 12 percent of the respondents expect to do their shopping online more in the future than before the corona crisis.

Focus on usability

When asked about the wishes and requirements that shoppers place on digital shops, the answers are unambiguous. Findability and user-friendliness are key. A clear menu and a user-friendly search function are the most important spearheads of a webshop.

Need for good service and communication

Service and communication are also mentioned as vital aspects of a positive shopping experience. And these components are gaining in strength: for example, 35 percent of the respondents indicate that they expect better communication from companies during the corona crisis. Think of regular product updates, for example with a longer delivery time, but also company updates.

In addition, extra services are required. Such as a relaxed return policy, which gives consumers more time to send a return. No less than 37 percent of the respondents indicate that they expect more of these types of services. Eight percent even want to see this much more.

Changes are permanent

The changes in shopping behavior are permanent. Which means for marketers that they have to focus on digital even more than before. With attention to findability (SEO), usability (CRO) and other online KPIs such as CPAs (in SEA), machine learning and a handful of digital first jargon.

About the Author: Youri Harmsen updates as a digital strategist Searchresult.

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