The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all and dramatically changed consumer behavior for both the short and long-term.
To understand what it means for brands and how it affects their future digital strategies we undertook qualitative and quantitative research into consumer behavior:
First we surveyed over 5,000 consumers across the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy to get first hand insights into what the virus and lockdowns meant to them.
We then worked closely with our partners at international experimentation network the GO Group, including Widerfunnel in North America and Conversions.com in the UK to benefit from their analysis and experience, gathered directly and through a series of webinars.
We’ve used the results to create a global report that looks forward to the post-lockdown world. It outlines key insights for brands, recommendations for strategic change, country-by-country analysis and actions companies need to take now to seize competitive advantage. Here are some key highlights from the report:
1 Key consumer findings - digital behavior has changed for the long-term
Our research clearly found that the switch to digital channels has been rapidly accelerated by the pandemic. Not only was there an immediate spike in digital activity, but this brought new audiences online, widened the reach of existing digital consumers and will have a long-term impact on behavior.
Here are the top-line findings:
- 34% of consumers increased the time they spent online during lockdowns
- 24% say they’ll use digital channels more in the long-term
- 73% want to receive a personalized experience
- 75% believe that brands do not personalize their experience enough
- 41% will switch from brands that offer a poor online experience
Download the full report to access a country-by-country breakdown of the results.
2 The 5 lessons for digital brands
Our analysis highlighted five key themes that every brand, in every country need to understand and use to drive their future strategy:
The crisis has accelerated the long-term shift to digital
A large proportion of consumers won’t go back to offline channels, bringing new opportunities and challenges for brands.
Customer-centricity and experimentation is key to growth
Consumer needs are changing - it is only those brands that truly understand consumer behavior and experiment to improve the experience that will flourish.
Wider usage of new digital services
The range of online activities is broadening into areas such as e-learning and telemedicine. Brands in these spaces that deliver the right experience will gain significant first-mover advantage.
The importance of personalization to meeting consumer needs
Brands can only meet the requirements of a larger, more diverse audience by delivering the personalized experience that consumers expect.
The economic downturn will bring new challenges - the brands that succeed will be those that invest in customer understanding and embrace experimentation and personalization.
Read the complete analysis in our global report.
3 The US and UK partner perspective
To provide on the ground insights and advice we worked closely with our partner agencies in the US, UK, Germany, Italy and France. They shared their current experiences and recommendations for how brands need to change their future digital strategies. Here’s a flavor of their views: