With lockdowns across Australia coming to a close, many are eager to jump back into the life that we once were so familiar with before covid reared its ugly head. As much as everyone wishes to forget the ways in which covid has changed us all, the reality is that it has changed behaviours, attitudes and intentions of Australians across the nation. To adapt to these changes will be detrimental to the success of your business in a post-covid world. So, how have your customers changed, and what can your business do to maintain customer relationships and engagement in this new post-COVID world?
What has changed?
Consumer spending is on the rise
Closing physical stores forced many businesses to go online, and now with consumers having more channels to purchase – both online and in-store – more purchases are expected to be made. Although there will be large amounts of money spent, the dollars will not be thrown to just any company with a great product. Buyers are becoming more cautious with their purchases, ensuring the longevity of their item as well as doing the research into the companies themselves.
Local economy is at the forefront
One in two Australian buyers are now purchasing from Australian-based online retailers, and this number continues to increase. Shopping locally is just one piece of the puzzle; where items are being made and manufactured is also of growing importance, with many Australians opting for these Aussie-made products. If you are a business whose operations are more internationally inclined, don’t sweat. Changing with the changes means just that – 78% of Australians believe that it is important for brands to support local communities, so engage with your team to find ways to do so. By sponsoring a local sports team, a public artwork, or using your platforms to promote local businesses in your community, it is still possible to tick this box for Australian consumers.
More digital, less cash. Buy now, pay later!
60% of Australians report using less cash since pre-pandemic times, likely due to sanitary reasons and an increase in online shopping, with just 4 in 6 Aussies carrying a wallet at all. Access to digital commerce tools have also opened up the market for buy now, pay later platforms such as AfterPay. This is particularly of interest for younger generations with lower incomes who wish to keep up with trends and purchase higher-ticket items that they need now, without paying hefty credit card interest. If your business is transaction-based and you have not yet employed a buy now, pay later platform, now is the time to do so.
Not all will revert to pre-pandemic shopping habits
Although many shoppers will be eager to run to stores to try-on clothing and socialise, others looking for books and electronics plan to continue to shop from home. What does this mean for these industries? It is likely that we will see a boom in the fashion and motor vehicle industries – with more shoppers eager to be in-store, more stores will open, with optimized shopping capabilities. For those who continue to shop from home, we will see the landscape of online shopping in these sectors become even more competitive, with increased personalisation and mobile optimisation at the top of the competitor checklist.
What your business can do about it.
Re-meet your customers
The above changes are general across the nation, especially in the retail sectors, but how might these changes apply to your business or industry? It can be as simple as engaging with your businesses online community through social channels, and simply starting the conversation. If your business is not based on a social platform, go old-school and chat with some of your key stakeholders over the phone. When chatting, it is important that you do not first make assumptions on their opinions or situation, but rather listen with an open mind. It is best to emphasize on the questions that include the “why’s” and the “how’s” in order to paint a better picture of where they are coming from. Alternatively – with our new found freedom – relaunch your business into the post-COVID world with an event where these discussions can occur in an informal, organic setting.
Do your own research
Whether it is a short customer survey, a shallow dive into your google analytics, or a deep dive with our research branch Leapfrog Research, it will be imperative that you partake in some form of research at this stage. If you want to make a head start on it yourself, read our blog post Are You Sitting on an Untapped Goldmine?
Welcome to a Post-COVID World.
This will prove to be an interesting time for business in Australia and on a global scale. It will be imperative to the success of every business to change with the changes and become malleable to their customers and stakeholders post-pandemic opinions. Get it right and you may inspire loyalty for life. Get it wrong and you can leave a bitter taste in the mouth of your customers. Use this opportunity to add real value to people’s lives and they will thank you for it. A customer-centric approach can give businesses a competitive advantage, so start your conversations and research now.
We can help with that.
FROM THE BLOG
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