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The Impact of COVID-19 on B2C Marketing Trends

By 13 October 2020July 21st, 2021No Comments

There’s no denying that businesses and consumers have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To remain successful during these times, it’s crucial for marketing and sales leaders to stay ahead of B2C marketing trends. While today’s business challenges may vary, customer satisfaction must remain the constant and top priority – their expectations must not only be met, but exceeded. According to a recent blog post published by Forrester, the following four driving trends will define the evolving strategies used for B2C marketing:

Marketplaces are no longer at the top

We are currently seeing a shift in consumer preferences where big marketplaces like Amazon or eBay are starting to lose their market share to individual brands. According to Gartner, one reason for this movement is that today’s increasingly eco-aware consumers see big businesses as contributors to climate change and are shying away from them as a result.

Proactive businesses are catching on and reacting accordingly.

For example, Nike has pulled their products from Amazon in order to focus on their B2C market and to give themselves better control over their customer relationships.

It’s also easier to monitor specific customer trends and behaviours on a smaller scale than on big marketplace sites.

If brands want to form meaningful connections with their customers, they need to place more focus on analysing their consumer insights and creating more opportunities to track customer service. Forrester predicts that while the past decade has been dominated by big companies, brands will be on top this decade.

Experience drives demand

Instant gratification and personalised experiences: that’s what consumers love and are looking for. Customers also seek comfort and predictability, which is why it’s so important for marketers to highlight stability and familiarity, and to focus on marketing positive experiences.

Personalised experiences can be achieved through promotional plans that include free trials or that allow customers to try a product now and pay later. Trial periods are extremely valuable to businesses as they force product development, and when both the product and the experience meet customer expectations, they’re more inclined to keep the product and repeat the comfortable, positive experience they had.

Forrester predicts that while the past decade has been dominated by big companies, brands will be on top this decade.

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Customers want to feel like they matter, and companies can help them by offering promotions and more relaxed return and cancellation policies.

During these times of uncertainty, it is imperative that marketers provide their customers with stability and show them that they care.

Privacy equates to purchases

In today’s market, customers’ purchase decisions are very much influenced by a brand’s values. According to a recent Forrester report, ‘While climate change and racial and gender equality are top-of-mind for many consumers, it is privacy that is most important.’

Customers are looking for data privacy while seeking a closer, more personalised experience. That’s why brands are currently implementing ways to address stakeholder capitalism. To expand your customer base, reevaluate and place greater focus on values in order to connect to your customers’ immediate needs.

It’s time for a strategy makeover

Business models are changing in every industry across the board, as startups shake up the status quo of traditional organisations. Navigating demand and potential for future demand is a challenge as businesses are forced to find new solutions to combat the uncertainty that came with the pandemic.

Companies must analyse customer behaviour and identify critical changes in order to stay relevant to their customers and clearly demonstrate sensitivity to their needs. It’s imperative to reevaluate the effectiveness of promotions offered and to be transparent and honest about inventory and risk of delay. In order to meet customer expectations, businesses need to be able to show proof of their adaptability.

During these times of uncertainty, B2C brands are better able to demonstrate to customers that they are constant and stable. They must prepare themselves for unexpected economic events and be able to adapt to behaviour shifts brought on by them.

Brands will benefit by creating more personalised experiences as customers will want to return to something that they’re familiar with.

With 15 years of experience as technical consultants and CRM experts, redk supports companies looking to enhance efficiency and profitability through world-class tools that optimise performance across organisations.

Resources:

https://www.gartner.com/en/marketing/insights/articles/top-consumer-trends-for-marketing-leaders-in-2020

https://www.forrester.com/report/Vast+Fast+And+Relentless+Consumer+Buying+Enters+A+New+Era/-/E-RES161439

https://www.businessinsider.com/nike-stops-selling-amazon-2019-11?IR=T

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Hideki Hashimura

Lead Consultant
CRM Transformation Practice at redk

Hideki applies over 15 years of experience in the field of CRM and Customer Experience to overcome business challenges in the customer cycle.

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