COVID-19 has changed everything for everyone. There isn’t a single household or individual left in the USA who has not been directly/indirectly affected by the ongoing pandemic. The same holds for the rest of the world. While people may seem quite eager to return to their usual activities, that will not be the case.
Lockdown is steadily easing up everywhere. However, life will never be the same for anyone. The fear of getting infected with the virus still runs strong. Most citizens are still skeptical of close-quarter interactions. No one is actually willing to take the risk of going back to a crowded workplace. Parents don’t want their children to get too close to anyone at their educational institutions.
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The year 2020 was one of the toughest years of human history. COVID-19 pandemic is still relentlessly causing damage to lives and livelihoods in 2021. After a year into the pandemic, we still don’t know everything about the virus. There are changes to be made, and the impact of these changes will further alter lives everywhere in the world.
Customers around the globe have altered behaviours and attitudes now. Any old marketing strategies will not work on today’s market or even when we go into post COVID era for real. In the USA, many old and reliable brands have lost their clientele. If anyone wants to retain them, then certain amendments in the business strategy are required. The new normal is going to be a very different idea from how things used to be.
Let’s highlight some of the exponential drifts in the global and local markets. We will also try to shed some light on trends, which will be essential for any business growth, during and post COVID-19.
Boost in digital or online shopping
Now, this is one fact that remains true for every country and every customer in the world. Due to the continuous need for social distancing and lockdown situations, this is one major shift in the market. The USA has also seen a steady rise in digital shopping throughout the pandemic. And, it does not seem to be stopping anytime soon.
Consumers have shifted to e-commerce channels for all their needs. It includes all kinds of purchases, e.g., medicines, groceries, apparel, etc. Moreover, this drift has hugely impacted brands that did not have any online stores. Anyone depending purely on their storefronts for advertising and sales has a cut a sorry figure.
People are opting to get omnichannel services. There is a rise in home deliveries. People are travelling sparsely. They expect to get a pre-booked space when they do go out for buying anything. That is, however, rare. Most of the shopping is being done through social media platforms these days, and these activities do not seem to be going away anytime soon.
What brands and businesses should do in such situations is clear. Every marketing strategy should focus on online platforms. If work-from-home and the lockdown situation carries on, the above activities will also remain. So, E-commerce is the name of the game.
Compromised brand loyalty
Brand loyalty is getting shattered due to COVID. Most of the consumers are trying out newer brands, or due to financial concerns, shifting to private labels, which don’t cost as much. Customers around the world have lost jobs during this pandemic. Marketers need to understand this shift. If they don’t realize the importance of it, their respective businesses will start suffering immensely.
Instead of the old product-based marketing strategy, the new trend suggests a consumer-based one. Building relationships with consumers and promoting their interests is what will keep businesses afloat. Only the brands which will focus on consumer behaviour will survive this situation. More focus is required on customer retention than on beautifying the products.
The utmost importance of hygiene
Due to an already strong intent and reliance on self-done activities, marketers will have to promote hygiene instead of focusing on reusable items for saving the company’s money. Sustainability will not diminish completely. However, single-use packages will take precedence over everything else.
The fear of the spread of the virus and its highly contagious nature has put customers and businesses in a difficult situation. Open retail stores are seeing a steady rise in the number of customers who do not want to rely on cashiers. Self-checkout is the new way to go.
Other factors are impacting the marketing scene. These include more focus on local markets. Many consumers are deciding to move to rural areas because urban cities are densely populated. The suburbs and remote location are the new attractions now ever since the start of the pandemic.
More customers are focusing their attention on buying local produce or products that are sourced locally. Marketers need to realize the importance of localization. Then they need to adopt strategies that can strengthen connections with their audience. A better ROI for any company will be dependent on how good its marketing department is. They will need to promote their values as a company to the local consumer.
Most Americans are happy with spending their time at home. They are concerned about going outside for anything. While economies will gradually start re-opening, it is still too soon to say what the public reaction will be post-COVID. More people have shifted their focus to home entertainment. The internet has helped sustain some semblance of normalcy during the pandemic. All we can do for now is expect that the worst is over and hope for better days to come.