While many businesses are slated to reopen after Coronavirus quarantine and restrictions have become the new norm, how we operate safely isn’t the only thing that’s changed.  Consumers around the world have begun showing how Covid-19 has changed their behavior going forward.

Despite government relief packages and positive ad campaigns starring your favorite celebrity, consumers around the world do not hold the same belief in a bright future.  In fact, consumers in Europe and Japan feel that the impact of Covid-19 will still be affecting them for months to come.  This is causing a drastic change in usual shopping habits.  With a focus on job security, keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table, what the average consumer searches for is going to change over the next year.  You will likely see a decrease in “want” items and an increase in survival gear or absolute “needs”.  This isn’t bad, per say, but it may alter how you target and connect with your audience.

This is where tone will be more crucial than ever before in marketing.  Consumers in places such as Brazil, South Africa and India were hard hit financially and will likely reduce spending.  On the flip side, more optimistic countries may spend more to stimulate economies and growth projections.  It’s important to research your target audience – income levels, where they live – and create multiple campaigns that reach both sides of the fence.

One thing that blossomed under Covid-19 was online shopping.  Being forced indoors made e-commerce more vital than ever before, not just in America but the world over.  Even though restrictions are lifting, fear and hesitancy remain for many who are keen to avoid physical stores and reduce contact as long as possible – some until there is even a cure.  Consumers are intent on continuing this online shopping habit across most categories so solidifying your e-commerce game is CRUCIAL.

Many across the world do not feel as if life is completely back to normal and are venturing out cautiously or embracing their homebody behaviors.  When they do leave the house, you are likely to see the majority of consumers focusing more on social interactions with family and friends.  This is a new norm that business will need to embrace – creating scenarios that interact with this new lifestyle and support it.  There are many individuals who are not satisfied with a government timeline to resume regular routines and are waiting for express consent from the medical community at large to pick up old habits.  They expect social distancing and safety precautions to remain in place long after consent is given (a better safe than sorry attitude) and we can expect that to be a new norm regarding marketing for quite awhile.

The public expects to see businesses cleaning, sanitizing and keeping them safe.  Some even choose where to shop based on these expectations.  This shift in behavior and what is essential to draw in key customers is likely to last long after the masks come off.

Going forward, it’s important for your business to understand that this mindset, these shifts in behavior are not going anywhere anytime soon.  No matter what is lifted or approved, a fear and uncertainty remain in your consumer.  Don’t be surprised if you see aspects of some shifts adapting to become a critical standard for business in the future.

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