As we all know that these are unprecedented times and even though it is tough to contemplate anything else other than devastation which this Novel Coronavirus Pandemic is inflicting across the world- life strangely still goes on!
Now those among us that have not yet got affected by this deadly malady (or have recovered from this disease) still have to work, eat, sleep and socialize (albeit digitally) and thereby keep ourselves occupied during this lockdown.
It is interesting to know in this present circumstance one very popular language learning app has claimed an increased usage of 200%, while sales of home gardening equipment have skyrocketed and the number of home décor Pinterest boards has multiplied by a factor of more than 50%.
As the old adage goes “where there is chaos there is an opportunity” for certain brands and businesses Coronavirus has spearheaded their business growth, while for the other it has brought unending misfortune and hardship as they have never seen before.
Hence, whichever side of the fence that your business falls, an understanding of the present behaviors of your customers can help you to navigate these fast-moving and turbulent times and so as one of the most popular vendors of Salesforce Alternative CRM we can show you how predictably consumers behave even during this troubled Pandemic as these four segments emerge from the researches we did with the help of our easy to use CRM software, that mostly caters to hundreds of small and medium businesses spread across the globe.
THE FOUR SEGMENTS OF LOCKED-DOWN CONSUMERS
1. Cost Cutters
This segment of the consumers feels that they are the most vulnerable and the hardest hit financially. Hence this segment of the consumers will literally slam on their brakes and discontinue spending on unnecessary items immediately.
Moreover, they may even decrease the usage of what they consider as their essential purchases and are likely to move wherever it is possible for cheaper alternatives.
It is most likely that during socio-political turmoil ‘cost-cutters’ will be high-income consumers with investments, those that have lost their jobs or those that are worried about their economic stability over the coming months, despite the government’s intervention to control and restore a falling economy.
The primary thing that brands must do with a high percentage of cost-cutting customers in this Pandemic times, is to keep the relationships going and use an easy to use CRM or any other business growth tools during this COVID-19 crisis to perceive what customers are interested in just beyond their company’ offerings.
Now, while the most tempting response in this situation is to cut prices (which we are even seeing with many brands now) nevertheless this can only even be a race to the bottom.
Since the customers are in a financial lockdown and so irrespective of how low are the prices these cost-cutter segment of the customers will not spend.
Hence by lowering prices, all you will be doing is to devalue your brand’s equity.
Typically this type of consumer will keep on hedging on their bets. Watchers will be worried about short-term and the ability to maintain their standard of living and so even though they will put a reign in their spendings, nevertheless, they will remain optimistic about the future days to come.
In a research done by Populas Inc., it shows that this is the segment where the majority of the citizens in every nation falls into, whereby 78% of the respondents in the survey said that by the week (beginning of April 2020) they are going to cut down on what they usually spend every month until this crisis and Pandemic is over.
Nonetheless, 77% of the same respondents even said that when the crisis gets over it will also be important for them to go out again and start spending once more.
In fact, this group of consumers represents a wide range of income groups.
But the sad news today is that once this COVID-19 Pandemic gets worse and if this lockdown continues Watchers will increasingly migrate to Cost Cutters.
Because of the optimistic outlook of the Watchers, high-involving brands should capitalize on this buyer’s psychology by finding convenient ways for their consumers to buy.
For example, businesses might introduce a more favorable financial deal accompanied by payment holidays until later in the year or for less pricy products and services spread their cost over a number of months, which are a very successful strategy for sustaining consistent business growth.
3. Cautiously Comfortable
These consumers are those that feel secured about their present financial situations in both short and long term scales.
Cautiously comfortable consumers tend to be retired citizens who have their investments spread over several low-risk portfolios.
Even though cautiously comfortable consumers also include the most well-off and high-earning consumers such as media barons, reputed sportsmen, celebrities, and more.
Therefore, this segment of the consumers continues to spend almost with the same spree as they have always done even before.
Nevertheless, during this financial unrest and economic slowdown they might become over selective with their brands and swap their choices from premium to slightly cheaper alternatives.
In this current market scenario, alternatively, these cautious comfortable consumers will also attempt to maintain their present lifestyle and stick to their favored brands but might decrease their consumptions.
Cautious consumers are such that they might even pay a premium to avail their brand’s offerings since now there are several BOGOF (Buy One, Get One Free ) and FMCGs that have curtailed on their conditions to buying on offers and have now switched to accepting payments in full RRP (Recommended Retail Price) instead.
Moreover, cautious comfortable(s) tend to be good planners and so might use this lockdown as a golden opportunity to plan for their future purchases in arenas like large home improvements or future holidays after the lift of this Pandemic.
Businesses should continue to send inspirational content to these consumers using drip marketing strategies which can provide them the right ammunition to plan.
Already we are seeing there are some holiday companies and automotive brands who are encouraging their targeted consumers to find comfort, excitement and fun on the other side of this Pandemic that is affecting all of us across the world now.
4. The Indifferent
Finally, this segment of the consumers will obviously remain anxious about the wellbeing and health of their family and friends during this Pandemic, but when it boils down to their finances you will find that they are pretty unconcerned.
Now, this segment of the customers tends to be made up of urban, and young entrants in the marketplace with no or little savings. For example the Millennial(s).
Many of these consumers will also be students or first jobbers and are so still supported by their guardians and family.
The indifferent(s) in other words will keep on spending, as usual, especially buy online products like clothes, technology gadgets, beauty products, and more.
Nevertheless, they will put a break on their major purchases, even though it is most likely they will already be thinking about their future spending even in these dark times.
Hence this segment for brands will remain as the most optimistic segment of consumers and can be considered as long-term prospects, since the indifferent(s) will only stop spending if their financial status changes all of a sudden drastically, like unforeseen death of a relevant earning members in their family.
This segment of the consumers presents a unique opportunity for businesses to test if they are brave enough to try their innovations in satisfying their customers by accomplishing the rapid delivery of their offerings within hours in metropolitan areas, whereby adding new channels for communication can also enhance the omnichannel experience of their consumers in the long run.
In addition to all these segments of customers, there is another type of behavior found among the customers that are emerging in nations like China, now that their lockdown and social distancing measures have been relaxed, those can be termed as Revenge Shoppers.
Now revenge shopping can be explained as an act of retaliation against natural or man-made circumstances, which resulted in queues of consumer clamoring for goods outside the stores in luxury Chinese malls, seeking retribution for enforced lockdown by spending.
Apparently, the same phenomenon was also witnessed in the aftermath of the 9/11 economic meltdown where consumers in the U.S dealt with their trauma by getting them engaged in ‘normal activities’ which to a large extent included shopping.
Hence the key for brands and businesses to sustain growth now in this COVID-19 times is to understand the customer journey of each individual and create marketing campaigns using an easy to use CRM software and other tools that can ease the anxieties faced by the customers and thereafter build long-term relationships, encouraging them to spend where it is appropriate for finding their present and future business growth.