How Covid-19 is changing consumers behavior and increasing E-commerce sales

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had tremendous effects on every aspect of our lives including the way we shop. Our lives are changing and consumer habits are evolving. Gone are the days of mindlessly perusing every aisle of your favorite store, not giving a second thought to whether or not you are six feet away from the people around you, or who previously tried on the t-shirt you just bought. 

E-commerce is soaring as consumers have now shifted to browsing and buying online. In fact, Adobe Analytics reports that total online spending hit $82.5 billion in May, a 77% increase year-over-year. To put this in perspective, based on online spending trends from the past few years, the numbers we saw in May would typically take 4-6 years. Not only has e-commerce grown rapidly due to COVID-19, but consumers have also become more responsive to marketing messages, including email, SMS, and social marketing tactics. While COVID-19 has resulted in the recent spike in e-commerce sales and changes in consumer behavior, it is likely that many consumers will continue with their current habits once life settles into a new normal. Here are some strategies to help your brand navigate these unprecedented times:

Be authentic and grow your community

Being forced to stay in the house for months on end can lead to feelings of anxiety and isolation, so where do your customers go to stay connected to the outside world? The internet. This means that now more than ever it is essential to be authentic and build a virtual community around your brand. One way to build brand authenticity is to communicate with your customers in ways that feel personal and relatable. For instance, at a time like this people are focusing on their mental and physical health to keep them sane and grounded. Conducting an at-home workout on Instagram Live or sharing some helpful meditation practices on your social media platforms, would be a great way to connect with your audience on a more interpersonal level and remind them that the faces behind your brand are human too. 

Not only does engaging with your customers build brand authenticity, but it also works to build your brand’s community. One way to grow your community is to empower your customers by encouraging them to create user-generated content. Then, you can showcase their content on your social media platforms or website, further enhancing the sense of community around your brand. Another way to engage your audience is by sending SMS marketing messages to your most loyal customers, reminding them about a special offer and providing them with some words of encouragement during this time. This way you’re letting your customers know that you appreciate their loyalty and making them feel like they are part of a community that cares about their well-being. 

Adapt your customer experience strategy

In a pre-COVID-19 world the company with the best price and most unique marketing campaign may have won over the hearts and minds of its customers; however, that is no longer the case. Today, the consumer is looking for a brand that cares and empathizes with them, because people want to feel like they are seen and heard. Now is a good time to appeal to your customers’ emotions and show them you are there to meet their needs, rather than just looking to make a profit. This way your customers will feel like you understand them and will be more inclined to stay loyal to your brand. 

Another way to ensure your customers are having the best experience possible is by keeping them informed. Maintaining your online presence and keeping your audience up-to-date on new delivery options, updated store hours, and new ways to reach customer service will build trust and make them feel connected to your brand. It is important that your customers know that you are doing everything in your power to make their experience with your brand as safe and seamless as possible, which includes keeping them in the loop with changing policies. 

Invest in marketing with a company that cares (like DRM)

The most important thing to remember is that we are all in this together. Your audience is attempting to navigate these unprecedented times just as you are, and it is your job to make them feel like they are not alone. Finding a marketing company, like DRM, that cares about the well-being of its clients and their customers would ensure that your brand is successfully adapting to the evolving needs of the consumer. DRM understands that now is a time to provide more than just a product to your customer base; it is a time to connect with your customers on a basic human level and show them that you are empathetic to their situation.

COVID-19 is changing consumer behavior and today’s customers need more than a catchy phrase and a good price. During these turbulent times, consumers are looking to your brand to provide them with human connection and care. Focusing on customer experience and working to foster a sense of community will help your brand flourish during this time. And always remember – we’re all in this together.

John Koetsier, “COVID-19 Accelerated E-Commerce Growth ‘4-6 years,’” Forbes, June 12, 2020,. 

Cristina Dinozo, “Survey: How is COVID-19 Changing Consumer & eCommerce Trends?,” Yotpo, March 24, 2020,

Koetsier, “COVID-19 Accelerated E-Commerce.”

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