How brands adapt to changes in consumer tastes
Nowadays more than ever, life around the world changes faster than we knew before and so are the tastes of customers. The Covid-19 Pandemic puts the planet in turmoil, as more and more countries are closing their borders and adjusting to the new normal of social distancing. One of the topics that is currently shifting swiftly is online shopping. People are spending the majority of their time at home, obligated to be distanced from each other and from the stores.
Individuals that never bought online before are now searching the internet for almost every possible thing. We have witnessed increasing demand for online shopping platforms, thus, forcing eCommerce to become more user-friendly and to cater consumer fast-changing tastes and wishes with new and improved features.
We witness a great increasing demand for online shopping platforms. Thus, forcing eCommerce to become more user friendly and to provide the consumers fast changing taste and wishes. Consumers are forcing the eCommerce system to become better and more efficient.
As countries started to enforce lockdown, businesses had to change their inner structure in order to adapt rapidly, all of a sudden everyone was buying online. The first and most obvious adaptation was for faster, friendly customer service. Rapid changes to product lines had to be made as well as consumer crazes for different products (like toilet paper, sanitizers, etc.). This led to a breakthrough in how brands process, analyze, and communicate with their customers.
In this article, I will go over some of the most efficient ways to maximize customer sympathy. I will also talk about ways to analyze changes in customers' tastes, how to be the master of your own operation, and what brands should do with their findings.
1) New products are launched faster than ever
The novel coronavirus has forced people to rethink their priorities and therefore change their taste and demands accordingly. This leads companies to change along with the customers in order to keep up being relevant.
Surviving these brutal times means acting faster than ever. It also means providing the best experience and support for your customers. However as most employees are working remotely, providing good CS is troublesome. Brands must launch new products to fit the new customer taste and optimize their existing products as well. Failing to do so, will force you out of the race.
There are some ways brands apply in order to stay ahead of their competition, leveraging customer insights is one them.
The pandemic and its restrictions surface topics brands never dealt with before. Analyzing online reviews is one way to understand the voice of your consumers, identify pain points, wish lists, and adjust your product accordingly in a short period of time.
A good example is moisturizers. As expected we witnessed that this topic was highly discussed across the media and became essential for all skincare and personal hygiene products. Brands that were able to identify the rapid change in consumers demand and were fast to react, increased their sales within this tough quarter.
2) Competitive analysis
There are many ways to understand your competitive landscape, if you have R&D resources it's worth monitoring amazon best selling products in the market by scraping eCommerce websites. Analyzing and extracting insights from raw data allows a better understanding of trends, and changes in the competitive shore.
Being able to uncover your competitors’ strategy (without external resources) is the holy grail for any sales/ marketing executive. User generated content (UGC) like online reviews can give us a good understanding of how your competitors react to emerging trends. In addition, analyzing consumer reviews allows brands to identify the most discussed topics in any category and find candidates for their consumers' wish list.
The same applies for spying on the list of best sellings products sold on the eCommerce giants (like Amazon). Changes within this list gives you a hint of how brands react to shifting in consumer taste.
3) From retail to eCommerce
The trend from retail sales to eCommerce AKA direct to consumer (D2C), is one of the emerging trends for brands in 2020. Most brands had already made some progress but the coronavirus forced everyone online.
Selling directly to customers and cutting the middlemen obviously increases margins but its a double edged sword. If your eCommerce operation is not fully dialed in, you might end up with a high return rate and negative sentiment towards your brand.
Another not so obvious but even more significant, is that by selling directly to customers you are able to collect valuable data about your customers. Up until now this information was usually the domain of the eCommerce giants which was used for marketing and creating their own branded products (like amazon basic).
4) Own the entire value chain
This new sales channel allows brands to own the entire value chain and gain back some of the lost contact with their customers when they need you the most.
One example of that is what happened in the midst of the coronavirus, where due to the immense need of vital supply Amazon warehouses stopped delivering non-essential items.
It created a problem for most brands, virtually cutting down their only revenue stream as most of their customers were in lockdown. Brands like Nike who had a well established D2C strategy reported online sales covered for the loss in retail.
Covid-19 has brought many changes to our world, and if we look carefully, we can benefit from some of them. Social distancing is brutally inconvenient, but in some ways we found interesting paths to overcome, react, and improve.
There are also many big data companies that enter this market shedding light on consumer behavior and tastes, helping us to provide service that is better and efficient.
We can expect everything to move faster, changes in consumer tastes are more frequent and those who react faster will be the new market leaders.
Alon is an Israely product and marketing executive with a track record in leading customer centric product management and inbound marketing strategy. While improving user engemenemt and customer, I help Start Ups achieve product market fit and expand their online footprint. I specialize in technology, entrepreneurship, customer experience.