Brand marketers are well aware that success in 2021 depends on keeping ahead of (or at least keeping up with) wildly fluctuating consumer priorities and attitudes necessitated by the state of the ongoing COVID crisis. New research from global experience company Rightpoint and its digital strategy agency Something Digital examines how the pandemic has substantially altered the products, channels and services consumers deem essential—finding that consumers’ new perceptions will likely last beyond 2021, and brands that respond to the shift in consumer sensibilities will be poised to earn their loyalty.
The firm’s consumer consciousness study, The New Essentials: Products, Channels and Services That Define the New Normal, explores consumer mindset, category engagement and digital savviness as lift during the pandemic evolved. It focuses specifically on three trends that have seen a leap since the pandemic began: how digital must keep up with the accelerated speed of life changes; why an essential purchase differs among consumers; and how brands can deliver against the four C’s that consumers now demand.
Over 1,000 consumers in the U.S. and Canada were surveyed between November 20-28, 2020. Additionally, Rightpoint interviewed 10 digital executives to understand how organizations have capitalized on the shifting landscape.
Key findings include:
Demographic and attitudinal shifts will transform how consumers live, make decisions and purchases
Two out of three consumers report making significant lifestyle changes as a direct result of the pandemic, giving rise to a new class of trendsetting “life changers.” Highly adaptable, young (60 percent are under age 40) and economically comfortable (66 percent are gainfully employed), this trendsetter group is evidence of larger demographic and attitudinal shifts in the near future.
Digital natives do more
Consumers under 40 report increased reliance on digital conveniences like video calling, online-enabled food delivery and curbside pickup, while older consumers are more likely to have “never used” any of these services.
Mobile is #1
Sixty-four percent of consumers shop via mobile, and 52 percent buy wherever and whenever on their smartphone.
More devices, greater ease
In addition to mobile, Gen Z and Millennials are significantly more likely than Gen X and Boomers to browse and buy via connected TV or connected devices.
Convenience is core
The majority (72 percent) of consumers want a fast and accurate product search while browsing.
Eighty-two percent of Gen Z are won’t ignore a brand’s ethics for the sake of a good deal.
Sixty-eight percent of Gen Z prefer discovering new brands on social media, and 41 percent are doing more online gaming.
“Marketers know they need to move away from targeting consumers based on broad characteristics like geography and demographic. These findings add more urgency to that shift. In the post-pandemic world, consumers are strongly motivated by their internal risk-benefit analysis, and brands that can tap into that analysis will build long-term loyalty,” said Phillip Jackson, chief commerce officer at Rightpoint, in a news release.