While few will say they’ll miss 2020 when it’s over, the events of the past year – read: the pandemic – will continue to shape consumer behavior and, in turn, the way brands market to them in 2021.
“Roadmaps totally went out the window,” said Julia Kirkpatrick, Pinterest’s director of brand research.
Evolving consumer behaviors include how they shop and what they buy, new priorities about what matters, and heightened expectations about their customer experiences (CX).
“Our pre-pandemic customers are no longer the same,” said Fiona Blades, chief experience officer of MESH, a market research firm. “Their needs are changing.”
1. Online shopping to play a bigger role
Consumers have certainly become more comfortable with online shopping as a result of the pandemic. Case in point: Cyber Week, the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, broke all sorts of records this year around, as many Americans chose to shop online to avoid crowds in stores amid COVID-19 concerns.
Data from Adobe found that consumers spent a whopping $34.4 billion during Cyber Week, which represents a 20.7 percent year-over-year (YoY) increase. In comparison, the YoY increase from 2018 to 2019 was 13.4 percent.
What’s more is that even though many people are spending more time at home, with access to larger devices like PCs and laptops, smartphones still accounted for 41.1 percent of online revenue during the five-day period, which is up 7.4 percent year over year. That number will only continue to grow in 2021, especially as 5G becomes more widely available and completely redefines what’s possible from a CX perspective online and on mobile.