How have Shopping Trends been affected by the Pandemic in 2022?

The Covid-19 pandemic fundamentally reshaped shopping habits.To remain competitive, eCommerce businesses and retail brands must stay ahead of trends and proactively adapt to changing customer needs. To better understand trends and consumer habits, we reviewed the latest Brandwatch report that analyses online social media mentions about how people describe changes to their shopping behaviour.

Online shopping has become a coping mechanism to fight COVID-19 anxiety

Since the start of the pandemic, the shift to online shopping has accelerated. Businesses worked hard to simplify customer experience online and improve delivery options. The ease of online shopping was one of the reasons why customers turned to it. However, now we can see that the motivation started to change. Online shopping has become a coping mechanism to fight COVID-19 anxiety.

Fast Delivery and Effective Checkout Process is key

According to the Customer Loyalty Report from GWI, fast and effective delivery is crucial in boosting advocacy and reducing complaints. Express delivery and real-time information on product availability are also considered to be important in fighting cart abandonment.

Impulse Shopping is on the rise

Mentions of “impulsive shopping”/ “impulsive buying” peaked in March 2020 and continue to be higher than the pre-pandemic

Pre-orders are on the increase

Shortages in 2020 and 2021 made savvy consumers pre-order more often. Pre-orders can benefit businesses by helping to avoid shortages and disruptions. At the same time companies must be extra cautious as ineffective processes can result in customers complaining more often. Pre-orders are becoming more common for goods that wouldn’t traditionally be available for pre-order. This trend is expected to stay even after the pandemic eases and it’s something that brands should experiment with.

Bulk buying becoming a new norm

Bulk shopping mentions peaked in January and July 2020. Despite the peak passing, many consumers are still worried about potential shortages and the conversation around bulk buying is still higher than it was pre-pandemic. According to the Chain Store Age report, Americans’ average weekly grocery spending was +17% in October 2020. In March 2021, McKinsey reported that Europeans will continue to spend more on groceries as they are working from home more often and getting used to cooking at home.

Cart abandonment rates increased

According to the Baymard Institute report, cart abandonment rates are on the rise and in 2020, 57.60%-84.27% of initiated shopping carts were abandoned. There is a number of reasons why this is happening.

  1. Financial security concerns are still strong, and consumers are trying to save up. Some consumers initially have a low purchase intent but still like to fill their cart up without making an actual purchase.
  1. Procrastination is one of the main reasons for high cart abandonment rates. The increase in mental health issues, anxiety, and depression have a knock-on effect that can result in shopping carts getting abandoned.
  2. According to ClearSale’s 2020 consumer behaviour report half of the consumers will abandon their purchases because of the long or complicated checkout process.

While some consumer behaviours cannot be changed, businesses can work on the things they can control and find improvements for poor UX, confusing checkout process, limited payment options, and security concerns.

Demand for better experiences and new technologies is growing

The pandemic significantly increased e-commerce adoption and elevated customer expectations. According to Customer Google Trends interest in ‘virtual try-on’ has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic.

The pandemic is shifting shopping habits and this trend is expected to continue. Since the pandemic started, the demand for convenience and improved customer experience increased. Consumers want to minimise uncertainty in daily life, so pre-orders and bulk buying are on the rise.  To remain competitive, retailers must understand and adapt to the changing customer needs. If you want to identify the most effective social marketing strategy for your brand and always stay ahead of trends, then get in touch today!

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