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How Consumers’ Shop Continues to Evolve After Pandemic

How-consumers-shop

The pandemic has reshaped how consumers shop. At first, it was merely out of necessity based on the unforeseen circumstances of quarantines and lockdowns. But as restrictions eased and time passed, these newly adopted shopping trends have transformed the behaviors of today’s shoppers into the foreseeable future, and retailers must take notice.

The Emergence of the Hybrid Shopper

According to a 2022 Shopper Experience Index study, shoppers who started purchasing online in 2020 and 2021 are most likely to remain there. However, a new breed of shopper is emerging – one that relies on online product research to guide their purchasing decisions before traveling to brick-and-mortar stores. This new purchasing behavior is known as hybrid shopping.

Forbes.com states, “Even if shoppers make their purchase in-store, they will have researched that product online first – another habit seen during the pandemic that is here to stay.”

Additionally, with widespread shortages and shipping delays throughout many global industries, hybrid shoppers were more willing to cross-shop other brands when the products they were initially looking for were not readily available.

Therefore, the emergence of the hybrid shopper has made it more challenging for organizations to remain relevant while differentiating themselves from their competitors in the market. As a result, more than ever, ensuring your digital presence is up to date and relevant is critical to your overall success.

Online Reviews

Online reviews are more vital than ever as shoppers become their own salespeople in an e-commerce environment. Reviews have become the most effective content required to influence how consumers shop highlighting quality, value, satisfaction, and even customer service. Reviews should feature a unique comment with specific examples based on the product or service received, not just a star rating. This helps assure consumers that the review is, in fact, authentic, as the posting of fake reviews has been on the rise.

While today’s shoppers rely on online reviews, they’ve also come to expect superior photography touting the beauty and utility of the products they’re interested in purchasing. When retailers purchase HC’s decorative planters, they’ll have access to our full library of product and lifestyle photography for their catalogs and websites.

Social Media Inspiration

According to the Shopping Experience Index, “69% of shoppers have been inspired by social media to purchase through another channel, with ease as the top reason for doing so.” Therefore, businesses must ensure they’re capturing customers’ attention on the appropriate social channels they use while enabling the buying process to continue seamlessly and painlessly from the social media in question.

Original Content Shows Thought Leadership

Today’s consumers want to do business with thought leaders who understand the importance of delivering relevant, timely, and applicable content over self-promotion. Therefore, original and thoughtful content creation is the most significant differentiator to your digital presence.

Michael Brenner of Marketing Insider Group says, “Content marketing is important, not just because it works for building trust, generating leads, and cultivating customer loyalty, but because it has become the new normal from the consumer side. It is helping to evolve what customers expect from the brands they interact with.”

Here are some questions to consider when it comes to your website and content creation:

Today, an organization’s digital presence can no longer be an afterthought as the hybrid shopper now uses a combination of traditional and digital mediums to help drive how consumers shop.

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