Preparing for Consumer Behavior Shifts & Trends After COVID-19

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  • 5/1/2020

    The impact of COVID-19 has led to strange times for marketers. We’re seeing new paradigm shifts every day, and at thunder::tech, we are working hard to help you navigate its impact on your business. This content is one of many resources we are creating for marketing and management in the midst of the coronavirus.
    As things continue to change, we’re helping by providing marketing advice, fresh perspectives and strategic planning for companies during and after the pandemic. For a full list of our COVID-19 resources, click here.

    This blog is one of several in our series on consumer behavior trends in various industries during the pandemic. We're exploring different developments and things marketers should watch  as the coronavirus progresses.
    Be sure to catch up on the other posts in this series:
    The reopening of our domestic economy in May is a do-over for the government and our society. If we don’t act differently, the virus will surge once again. This is the roller coaster that all businesses and consumers will be living with for the foreseeable future. 
    Until widespread testing and contact tracing is in play and then an eventual vaccine deployment occurs, life will continue to be a hybrid of facets of our “before COVID-19” life combined with the restrictions we experienced during the spring lockdown. 
    In essence, life will be constrained for some time.

    Life after lifted lockdowns

    A “slowdown approach” will have to prove effective, allowing us to move back to some form of normalcy so we can co-exist with the virus without overwhelming our healthcare system. What we experienced this March and April is becoming known as a “hard lockdown” where only essential businesses were allowed to operate. If we keep the curve flattened and the slowdown approach works, this would become a last resort for the government to use again. If not, we face the possibility of another hard lockdown.
    Announcements lifting the current lockdown restrictions have raised spirits, stock markets and hope, but that doesn’t mean consumers are going to be heading back to life as normal. Marketers should be prepared for a blended new normal—one that mixes in new habits picked up during the lockdown. 
    These are the major categories most likely to see huge shifts in behavior and new trends. Marketers need to be prepared for changes within:
    • Consumption pattern changes
    • Recessionary consumer shifts
    • Constraints on travel for work and leisure
    • E-commerce and digital interaction expectations of every brand
    • News and real-time information ubiquity
    Normally, there is a bell curve when it comes to the adoption of new methods, technology and other changes in society. However, this isn’t a normal time and the entire country was forced into new habits all at once and for a prolonged period of time. You know the old saying, “21 days to form a habit,” right? Well, most of the working world had their lives altered far longer than 21 days! With a slow and constrained reopening of the economy, new habits and expectations will be sticking around. 

    Is your brand prepared for the next stage of our recovery?

    As we enter this new blended reality, thunder::tech will be posting on more trends in consumer behavior to be ready for. In the coming days we will be digging into the impact that COVID-19 will have in:
    • Travel and tourism decisions
    • B2B sales practices
    • General e-commerce shifts
    • Food and beverage trends
    Of course, as you see buying habits changing in your industry, we want to hear them. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on Twitter.

    About the author::
    Jason Therrien is the president of thunder::tech. He is a fan of entrepreneurs and trailblazers, a proud dad and he liked scotch before Mad Men made it cool.
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