Communicate Online: The three factors that changed consumer behaviour this year

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Location-powered advertising and analytics company, Blis has released a new report that highlights the three key factors impacting changes to consumer behavior, with actionable insights for brands to able to harness in their strategies. With the holiday season fast approaching, brands who want to win with consumers should pay close attention to geography, mobility, and psychology. Brands that understand how consumer behavior has changed and harness it in their strategies, will be well-positioned to survive and thrive in this ever-changing landscape.

The study highlights three key areas of consumer behavior that are impacting and being impacted the most: geographical location, modifications to mobility, and the psychological need for interaction. All three interplay and interact with each other.

Geographical Location

  • Consumers globally are reporting varying degrees of confidence, caution and concern around leaving their homes.
  • However, the patterns of consumer behavior are varying at a localized level.
  • Brands need to take a more micro approach, acknowledging that foot traffic to local stores provides key insights into how confident or cautious consumers are in a particular region.
  • Brands can use this insight to develop more granular targeting strategies.

  • Regional locations have become the new battlegrounds as consumers establish new habits and routines.

Recommendations

  • Brands will need to alter their messaging appropriately to local consumer sentiment. For regions such as NZ, UAE, and Singapore, communicating with consumers that their stores are; Covid safe, able to offer contactless delivery or the ability to purchase online will be far more important than product promotion.
  • Consumer behavior is not always in line with Covid case spikes, so brands need to be agile in order to account for an increase in consumer activity, even if cases are on the rise. The inverse also tends to happen. Maintaining customer loyalty through all phases, not only with existing but also new customers, will help brands through these unexpected peaks and troughs. Brands should also ensure they are targeting the entire household, to stay front of mind with all spenders and decision-makers.
  • Brands need to adjust their media strategy based on regional differences.

Modified Mobility

  • Globally, consumers are feeling varying degrees of confidence, caution, and concern about taking public transport.

  • The willingness of consumers to use public transport has an impact on those businesses that rely on the commuter footfall.
  • The return of consumers to public transport is an essential component for retail businesses that have long based their physical infrastructure as well as media planning around these connections.
  • New routines are impacting consumers’ choice of brands, shops, and restaurants.
  • Brands who were heavily reliant on daily commuter patterns need to take note of this change in choices and habits. They need to reconnect with consumers and re-stimulate them.

Recommendations

  • Brands need to take a local strategy and shift the tone of their messages towards building confidence in shoppers and re-engage them to begin shopping safely. In today’s climate, it pays for brands to have hyper-local strategies.
  • Brands that relied on commuter’s patterns of daily behavior need to find new ways to reconnect.
  • Brands need to take a more granular approach when it comes to targeting and reaching consumers. By monitoring the confidence and caution people demonstrate when customers visit physical locations within regions, brands can be more agile and adapt strategy and messaging accordingly.

Psychological needs

  • Consumers everywhere are faced with uncertainty around their habitual behaviors and are out of their comfort zones. The rate of ‘return to normal’ not only varies from region to region but also from person to person.
  • Despite fear and caution, a consumers’ intrinsic need for social interaction remains strong.
  • Thus, this balancing of varying psychological need states is redefining audience segments and is based on risk appetite

  • The mindset gap between confidence and caution is significant.

Recommendations

  • Brands need to get the right audience mindset. Whether local or global, levels of confidence and caution are varying everywhere. Brands need to take the time to understand the different mindsets emerging from within their audience segments. For less confident audiences, brands can target them at home with online product showrooms and more options for home delivery, while more confident audiences could be attracted in-store with geolocation targeting. Since there isn’t a uniform return to normality, it’s important for brands to take a more granular approach to audiences as well as locations and regions.
  • Consumers are eager to return to their normal routines but not everyone feels comfortable doing so. Challenges around convenience, access, and safety are forcing people to buy differently and choose brands that they wouldn’t normally. Brands should leverage their customer favorites and core brand assets that audiences already have a connection with and reassure them of the safety precautions in their tones.

Holiday Mood

With the holiday season fast approaching, many are adopting the ‘wait and see’ mentality. Consumers are finding it difficult to predict what they will do over this period with close to a third answering that they ‘don’t’ know’ when it comes to future-facing questions about holiday shopping and spending.

Brands and agencies globally are also experiencing the same uncertainty, with three out of four saying that unpredictability is the main factor impacting advertising spend.

Read the full article here.

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