The New State of Play: Changing consumer and social behaviours due to social distancing and COVID-19
Large scale changes to how we interact with each other and the world around us has already taken place. They are now here to stay post COVID-19 with further shifts and changes expected as we evolve to a new world.
- From how we socialise to how we shop and even workout, the physical and digital worlds are evolving post COVID-19
- Observations of current trends point to five key predictions on how Australia and the world is transforming
- Ideas and steps on how to get people back into your space
- What you can do to make sure people know (and feel) safe
- If you need help or have any questions, contact Michael, Managing Director email@example.com
Are you back to business ready?
If you need help ensuring your team and customers are preventing the spread of COVID-19 through maintaining social distancing and hygiene measures, we can provide you with social distancing floor stickers and posters within 48 hours.
When can we re-open our businesses? What is the timeline for economic recovery? How will we know when it is safe to go back to work? How can we hold on to the benefits we have seen through various social-distancing measures and still be able to open businesses as much as possible?
These are just some of the questions businesses are asking as restrictions lift for COVID-19. As the Government and the world try to respond, new consumer behaviours have already formed and are now starting to become lasting habits. Though uncertainty has become the norm as the world grapples with how to evolve, we can learn from history and what’s happened in Italy, Singapore, New Zealand, China and America on impacts of restrictions lifting. The way others have responded and changed point towards further changes expected for the retail, real estate, education, hospitality, fitness/wellness and other traditionally “contact” based industries. We’ve been forced to innovate and evolve the way we work and live. The benefits have been that businesses have found new ways to operate as well as leaner to drive profit and productivity.
With COVID-19 expected to be around for the near future, measures such as: social distancing, hand washing, hospital grade cleaning and disinfecting procedures, wearing masks and increased online behaviour have now been embedded. With restrictions lifting and businesses starting back up again to find a new rhythm, these new behaviours will change how we operate even further and become main stays to continue to protect ourselves and our community.
Our Top 5 Predictions: What’s going to happen next?
- Social stigma on physical contact like shaking hands will continue and change how we interact
- Supply chains and logistics will change and need to diversify to ensure against shortages as borders close
- eCommerce growth will accelerate as online behaviours, previous stigmas and habits evolve
- Social media usage as a key way to get news and information will become even more embedded with time spent on platforms continuing to rise
- Businesses that traditionally are “contact” businesses will need to evolve and move towards contactless revenue streams. Store pick-up, social distancing and layout enabled in retail and store design such as aisle widths, contactless payment options, more digital events and services will all become a must rather than a nice to have
Back to Business: How to get people back into your place of business
With consumers starting to trickle out of their homes and into shopping areas, community areas, schools and gyms, making sure people know you are open and back in business, or any changes to your usual trade is key.
Facebook have continued to dominate during this time and will continue to be a key place for people to connect and find out information. According to them and a survey they did, they found:
“…31% of small and medium-sized businesses have shut down [entirely] in the last three months. The situation is worse for personal business (52% of which report shutting down), hotels, cafes and restaurants (43%) and services like wellness, grooming, fitness or other professional services (41%).”
But it is not all doom and gloom. For those that are coming out of hibernation, businesses are now planning on recovery and a stronger foundation of growth into 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic is sending users to Facebook and online in record numbers. For instance, daily audio and video calls on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger doubled as the virus spread. This saw levels normally seen only on New Year’s Eve. Facebook Chief Mark Executive Zuckerberg said in a March conference call:
“In a time of disaster, people rely more on social services … we are seeing surges in traffic, especially in areas most affected. People want to stay connected while being asked to maintain social distancing and eliminate loneliness.”
Total media on Facebook is also still expected to increase from 2019 by 7% (Source: eMarketer) in favour of outdoor ads and other traditional physical mediums of marketing.
Social media strategies are also changing with more focus and reliance on organic content and posts. Compared with using paid media, as budgets tighten or if they are unable to afford additional investment to this.
So, what will help businesses rebound and win back customers into their spaces?
Businesses are continuing to rely on and explore online connection opportunities and ecommerce further. Contactless payment or digital payment options are now critical. To make sure you’re in the best position to recover, follow our five simple steps to ensure you are “back to business” ready.
Back to Business Ready Checklist:
- Prepare your physical space: disinfectant and hand sanitiser stations, social distancing in queues and in aisles, store layouts that help guide people to check out (or even not have to enter the store and simply click and collect). This can include social distancing stickers on floor spaces, which can be supplied by GDR. As well as, widening aisle spaces, changing store layouts, posters on walls and entry / POS /exit points, and directions to your location.
- Ensure you have contactless payment options
- Tell your customers you’re back in business through emails, social media, print and physical signs
- Explore online promotions and ecommerce to expand your digital revenue streams and services where appropriate
- Put in place contact-tracing protocols like a digital email address collection point at point of sale or a written email and first name form with opportunity to sign up to marketing communications too.
Social media and online trends look like they will be the biggest long-term shift we see stemming from the COVID-19. People will now expect the convenience, instant access and gratification that online and social media offers. For those already playing in the ecommerce and digital advertising space, this could mean cementing their position to harness digital connection points with prospects and consumers to fuel their P&L. However, the physical space is evolving too and needs to catch up. Changing layouts and signage, as well as print & distribution to inform local prospects and customers around you of what they can expect from your business will be crucial for total business recovery back into growth.
Ask us how we can help
GDR will work tirelessly on supporting your business and marketing strategy. Let’s make sure you stand out and people choose you over your competitors. For a limited time we are providing a complimentary 90min media consultation to help you proactively plan and promote your business.
Your consultation will be run by Australia CMO Top50 and former Newscorp media experts. Take away recommendations that you can immediately put into play to make your marketing more accountable and profitable.
Some of the promised takeaways:
– Media advice tailored to your industry and your audience personas
– Website health check that will indicate how well you are set up for ROI
– SEO insights & recommendations to increase traffic & lead generation
– Urgent changes you need to make to you website
– Conversion rate optimisation advice to support lead conversion
– Advice on how to tell your brand story in a more powerful way to stand out from your competitors
– The latest media trends to guide your strategy
To book your session, please email Michael with your availability: