While most businesses affected by COVID-19 are combating forces to save their company at the moment, developing a long term strategy is vital to successfully operate the retail market over the next several years. A variety of factors are affecting the world of retail right now. Retail companies that are revolving around increasing and fluctuating consumer demands have to constantly acquired new practices, technology and trends to stay relevant. For many, the current pandemic crisis can become a turning point in a customers’ perception of your business.
How is consumer behavior in the U.S. is shifting?
There are already a few visible changes in the way U.S. consumers shop and spend. While some industries experience a decline in sales, others see positive shifts. Here are a few key outtakes:
- Apparel and beauty retailers are seeing a decline in sales, while sports footwear companies see an increased demand
- Small appliances, mostly linked to increased at-home cooking and cleaning, are in higher demand
- Consumer electronics and toys retailers are seeing an increase in sales
- Disinfecting wipes, sanitizer, and other cleaning tools are clearly viral products among consumers
What trends will drive retail success in the upcoming years?
Brand image and company initiatives had been a trend for a while now. This mainly includes environmental impact, social responsibility, etc. How you treat your employees, how you use your resources for the greater good, and how you handle difficult situations are all growing concerns amongst the public. How businesses react to our current situation will determine how customers will assess them later.
Today, bad news is the last thing your customers want to hear about. It’s everywhere, but good entertainment and support that provides relief is much harder to find. Everyone is confused now, and people in quarantine need a shoulder to lean on. Make sure to develop a creative strategy, or just provide a supportive note that implies trust in the future for your company and your customers.
While this trend is already well implemented in society, it is expected that more and more customers will be going digital. Current conditions force people to adjust to the use of digital services, whether or not they have never used them before. Retailers have to react quickly and acclimate to their new roles with the tools, platforms, and services their customers are now actively using.
Ultimately, customer habits will vary whether it be in the short-term and long-term, and becoming a resilient and flexible business is crucial to staying in the race.