The world is changing. The digital landscape has seen rapid change in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and now, businesses must begin to heed the call and give consumers what they want and need; safe and secure online shopping experiences.
The Fear of Going Out
Long gone are the pre-lockdown days of ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO). There has been a complete U-turn on the way people are behaving in a post-lockdown world. When the first UK lockdown restrictions eased at the end of June, many people adopted the post-lockdown phenomenon of ‘fear of going out’ (FOGO), which simply put, refers to the anxiety inducing feelings people are experiencing when it comes to leaving the house.
Deloitte found that lockdown inevitably changed the way people shop, with a report revealing that 38% of respondents did more online shopping compared to pre-lockdown levels, while 19% would maintain these new behaviours in a post-lockdown world. With a large proportion of people feeling content in the comfort of their disinfected households, retailers are left with no choice but to adjust their existing strategies to become more accessible to their audiences in these ever-changing times.
Despite the easing of the lockdown, a survey by Ipsos Mori showed that 67% of Britons feel uncomfortable with the prospect of returning to bars, restaurants and other large events.
Black Friday & Christmas 2020
The global pandemic has managed to wreak havoc with just about every event set to take place this year. However, Black Friday is set to go on as normal – at least online, anyway. With everyone shopping online more in 2020, all the best deals are going out of stock faster than usual and plenty of popular products are simply unavailable.
Black Friday poses a huge opportunity for businesses to boost sales and attract new customers. Failure to prepare for the biggest shopping day of the year could be catastrophic, resulting in big losses of potential earnings and lack of consumer confidence. In auction based environments, businesses could end up costing themselves a lot for very little return. However, the difference is that we are possibly going to see a sustained period where everyday is like Black Friday, and businesses must be prepared.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s understandable that over 60% of shoppers said they plan to buy presents by the end of November, with a mere 2% saying they will embrace the festive rush and wait until Christmas Eve. As you’ll probably be able to relate to, a vast contrast to previous years, where shopping centres and highstreets are brimming with crowds rushing to get their loved ones gifts in a last minute dash. Not only are people planning ahead for the 2020 festive period, but 50% of shoppers say they plan to do more of their Christmas shopping online, and 28% are still steering clear from the high street in fear of the virus.
With the festive season fast approaching, have you considered how you will reach your consumers online, with a vast majority of people discarding the idea of visiting busy shops? In light of current circumstances, it’s inevitable that retailers will need to come to terms with years of advancement in online shopping that have developed over a matter of months. Some top high street brands have already fallen by the wayside because consumers have adjusted their shopping behaviours. Those that remain will have to become more zealous in their online efforts.
As the pandemic continues, shopping behaviours carry on evolving at a rapid pace. A Salesforce survey found that 68% of consumers said COVID-19 had elevated their expectations of companies’ digital capabilities, with a whopping 88% expecting companies of all kinds to accelerate digital initiatives as a result of the pandemic. With the second lockdown continuing to disrupt the retail and hospitality industries as it first did back in March, the question posed is how prepared is your business to navigate through this second phase?
During the first lockdown back in Spring, we worked with our clients to help them quickly adapt their existing strategies to move almost completely online for the foreseeable. No easy feat, but we managed to successfully open up entirely new revenue streams for clients despite the obvious setbacks. A key indicator of how well businesses might perform post-pandemic is the degree to which they utilise digital tools as a way to run their business and interact with their consumers. It’s inevitable that the future of retail is leaning even more towards digital, and a businesses’ digital assets will inevitably drive consumer loyalty in the 2020 landscape and beyond.
Online shopping has officially become mainstream among the once tech-resistant generation aged 65 and over, with over 50% saying they now shop online. The rise in online shopping highlights the pressure that continues to mount on Britain’s high streets, especially with the ongoing pandemic. Figures show the number of empty shops in town centres hit a four-year high in 2019, with more than one in 10 stores now vacant according to the British Retail Consortium.
During the initial lockdown in March, the majority of the UK population had to stay home, only omitting essential key workers. This constraint led to a huge boost in online activity; some people were already online, others had to boost their online activity, and for others, lockdown required them to use online services for the very first time. For many UK consumers, their lockdown usage may have posed the perfect opportunity to quicken the adoption of online applications and lead to enduring change for businesses.
What We Do
Whether it be setting up brand-new websites and e-commerce for the first time, or making existing online set ups work harder, that’s exactly what we’re here to help you with. We have helped our clients take a step in a new direction and manoeuvre through the most unprecedented period in our lifetime. If you would like to book a free, no obligation consultation to find out what we can do for you and your business, please get in touch at [email protected].