Control and convenience rule for COVID-19 consumers

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Consumers want greater control and convenience in their out of home lives and are more direct when outside, leading to fewer spontaneous decisions being made, according to the blis Life after lockdown footfall and sentiment study.

The study examined trends in consumer behaviour using location data and mapped these patterns against consumer survey data to understand how brands can better connect with their consumers in the time of coronavirus-related restrictions.

If also found 42 per cent of Australians who responded feel confident leaving the house while 41 per cent feel cautious. However, this confidence plummets at the thought of confined crowded spaces, with just 19 per cent saying they feel confident, 54 per cent feel cautious and 22 per cent feel scared.

When compared to other countries, Australians have been one of the quickest to return to shops and venues. In June, outdoor activities and food and drink venues across the country experienced a surge in visitors, reaching 74 per cent and 61 per cent respectively of pre-COVID-19 traffic.

To gather sentiment, a six-question survey gathered 798 completed responses across Australia and New Zealand over the week of the 15th of June 2020. To measure behaviour, footfall from 100,000s of places, 10 million-plus devices was measured across the region from January to late-June 2020.

The blis survey has three central recommendations for brands navigating the coronavirus economy. It found, post-lockdown, consumers are giving in to a universal, psychological need for comfort, enjoyment and social interaction. It is increasingly important for brands to associate with these new priorities and needs. Using behavioural data in conjunction with traditional measures will give brands the full consumer story, particularly when there’s sometimes a mismatch between what people say and what they do.

Finally, it’s important for brands to adapt as people look for greater control, convenience and speed in all facets of their out of home lives. This can include everything from less crowded or cluttered store layouts, a more seamless online and offline retail experience, to more succinct journey from browsing to transactions.

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