From Taranjeet Singh
As the country approaches a second wave of the pandemic spanning nearly a year, we’ve seen consumers change their usual routines and behaviors to adapt to a whole new way of life in the new normal. With global lockdowns, occupancy limits, and varying levels of comfort in personal activities, consumers have turned to alternative options to continue their daily routines and necessities.
Enter “The Convenient Consumer”. The convenient consumer values brands that they meet where they are and allows them to act on their own terms and schedules. Over the past year we’ve seen grocery stores use delivery services, gyms being replaced with home apps and videos, streaming services replacing theaters, and roadside pick-ups improving e-commerce and enabling omni-consumers . According to Deloitte’s Global State of Consumer Tracker, more than 70% of Indian respondents are “The Convenience Searcher” willing to spend more on convenience.
These consumers have completed fitness workouts at home, attended continuing education classes, and perfected their coffee-making skills – which has ultimately transformed the industry for years to come. Marketers should focus on balancing a home and in-person presence to connect with consumers in all environments and build a lasting relationship in the new normal. Here are a few steps:
Offer value with every interaction
It goes without saying that today’s marketer needs to be able to reach consumers at every touch point on their shopping journey, but beyond that, they need to add value with every interaction. One way to do this is to use both in-store and online data to provide consumers with a personalized and seamless shopping experience across all of the channels they engage with – from email to social Media up to stationary and more. Creating a consistent experience that is unique to the shopper shows that a brand is ready to meet them where they are, which makes it easier for them to get what no matter the environment they’re shopping in you need.
Overcommunicate your options
Over the past year, the rapid rise in e-commerce has created problems in the supply chain, resulting in out-of-stock items and extremely long delivery times. In return, consumers gave up their brand loyalty and switched to brands that were immediately available to them. If loyalty is to be won, marketers should communicate how to meet the consumer where they are and help meet their needs. Whether through options like online purchase, in-store pickup (BOPIS), or discounted express shipping, consumers will interact with the brands and retailers who cater to their needs and make it as easy as possible to get what they have are looking for.
Keep the consumer in the middle
Consumers discovered new favorites during the lockdown from online grocers, branded websites, and direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies. According to Criteo, 52% of shoppers in India say they shop more online while Covid-19. Implementing a strong loyalty strategy is now more essential than ever to ensure that these consumers return to you, not a competitor. We saw that long-term stationary customers became omni-channel buyers. The key to engaging this new audience along with existing and expired consumers is to focus on a customer-centric marketing strategy that is less focused on isolated channels and drives the lifetime across all channels.
Invest in stationary retail
While many consumers turned to e-commerce for the first time in 2020, there is still a large majority who want to go to the store to touch and feel a product before making a purchase decision. To combine the two experiences, retailers should take one side out of e-commerce by leaning on technology. By providing inventory search kiosks, contactless mobile payments, and even augmented reality to visualize products at home, the store experience becomes as simple and efficient as possible.
In order to be successful with today’s “convenient consumer”, one thing is clear: marketers need to meet these consumers where they want to be met. By delivering a personalized and seamless experience across channels, as well as options like roadside collection, digital subscriptions, contactless payment, and more, consumers can access products and services on their own terms and ultimately continue to interact and build relationships with these brands for years to come .
The author is Managing Director, SEA and India, Criteo
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