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3 Tips to accompany consumers in their new purchase journeys

Faced with such variable behavior on the part of consumers, predicting the future is an "impossible mission" for marketers in an increasingly omnichannel reality. Getting ready is the only solution and we tell you how.

Categories as diverse as retail, technology, finance and travel have undergone profound changes as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The context made people change their consumption habits: some previous trends accelerated, others appeared and were short-lived, others are here to stay and many others may disappear in the coming months.


And although we do not know what will happen in the future, some data and signals can help us anticipate possible scenarios. In the last year, the use of digital technologies has grown at unprecedented rates: 44% of online retail shoppers bought a new category online for the first time in 2020.1 Still, consumers behave omnichannel and that will deepen in the future, given that the strategic role that the physical store had in the purchase path has changed.


For this reason, facing a year in which we do not know whether or not there will be greater restrictions, understanding what these new consumer behaviors and motivations appear to be the best strategy for marketers. How to anticipate and be prepared for what is to come? We summarize it in three tips:


1. Be Empathic

Commonly defined as the ability to put yourself in another's shoes, empathy not only allows us to understand the emotions and feelings of others but also to understand their points of view. In the face of a pandemic that has affected us all, this exercise should not be difficult.


We know that people experience new needs and concerns: 82% of Latin Americans, for example, are concerned about the hygiene of shops. In turn, many are concerned about the future of their finances, with some concentrating only on buying essential items (28% of Latin Americans)3 and many reducing their impulse purchases (67%).


Likewise, greater consumer loyalty is observed in some products, such as food and beauty, and a greater willingness to try new brands in categories such as clothing, technology, and home. That represents a huge opportunity, as 35% of retail consumers bought a new brand in 2020.


In fact, the reasons why people buy have varied, so fundamental variables such as speed of delivery and safety and hygiene measures must be considered.


2. Be Data Driven

The complexity of consumption patterns and new purchase paths, as well as the number of contact points and channels used by consumers, mean that marketers are faced with a large amount of information and the challenge of accompanying these transformations in time. real.


Some indications help to better understand the current panorama and the future:

  • In most product categories, online resources such as search, customer and expert reviews, and brand websites are seen as useful and are likely to become even more popular.

  • People believe that they will increase their percentage of online purchases during 2021, with an average increase of between 10 and 11 percentage points, especially in categories such as food and beauty.

In addition, Latin American consumers have experienced inconveniences related to product availability and high prices in multiple categories, both in-person and online purchases.


3. Be Agile

Digitally transforming the business is the only way to relevantly accompany the complex journeys of consumers, through all the channels they use, both online and in person. In fact, the pandemic and the restrictions that it brought about accelerated the digital transformation that was already being seen in the industry.


There are multiple motivators that affect the exploration and evaluation that people make before making a purchase. Likewise, the experience of a purchase will condition future tours.


Among the main points of contact and triggers that define decisions are:

  • Search engines are the most used medium before a purchase: for 59% of consumers, it was the most popular channel, regardless of whether the purchase happens online or in person.5 In the first case, the average rises to 79%, while for the latter exceeds 50%.

  • 52% of retail consumers turned to online video before purchase. Among those who bought online, the average is 68%, and for those who bought in person it reaches 45%.6

Consumers seek frictionless omnichannel experiences and demand that brands have the products they seek available, both online and in-store. In fact, the tour of the stores was used by 31%, mainly to experience the products. In short, convenience and good prices also make a difference.


The dynamism of the scenario is accelerating and the unexpected changes in consumer behavior will continue. Being empathetic, empowering our actions through data and being agile appear today as the three solutions that, integrated with creativity, better prepare us for the future.


By Evangelina Suárez and Marcos Aramburu

Sources:

1 Google/ Kantar, The Journey Reshaped: COVID-19’s impact on the path to purchase, encuesta online, población +18 que realizó una compra/ se suscribió a un servicio, o tiene la intención de hacerlo en las categorías incluidas, LATAM Retail (AR, BR, CO, MX, CL y PE), febrero 2021. 2 Google/ Kantar, The Journey Reshaped: COVID-19’s impact on the path to purchase; encuesta online: ¿cuáles de las siguientes afirmaciones mejor describe el impacto de la pandemia de coronavirus en usted?, n = 31936, LATAM, febrero 2021. 3, 4 The Journey Reshaped: COVID-19’s impact on the path to purchase; encuesta online: en comparación con la situación previa a la pandemia, ¿está haciendo menos, igual cantidad o más gastos?; n = 31936, LATAM, febrero 2021. 5,6 Google/ Kantar, The Journey Reshaped: COVID-19’s impact on the path to purchase, encuesta online, población +18 que realizó una compra/ se suscribió a un servicio, o tiene la intención de hacerlo en las categorías incluidas, LATAM Retail (AR, BR, CO, MX, CL y PE), febrero 2021.

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