NZ Messenger : 2020-06-04

观 点 : 11 : A11

观 点

ISSUE 792 05/06/2020 Understand­ing your customer is the key to business survival A11 观 By Michelle MacWilliam 点 SUPPORT LOCAL It especially online video content, is predicted to have staying power postpandem­ic. Brands should consider new ways to reach audiences online, such as through TikTok or YouTube, depending on the target audience demographi­cs. companies and brands are presented with a unique opportunit­y to reach their target audience with fewer distractio­ns and a targeted approach to customer engagement. and their attitude to what shop for. Also factoring in social distancing becomes the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer habits are adapting in real-time to the new environmen­t and circumstan­ces. Therefore, it requires business owners to be acutely aware of their customer’s needs. Companies who have marketing teams will be observing their customer patterns, reviewing and interpreti­ng the changes in real time and adjusting accordingl­y. However, the business owner who wears many hats within the business will need to focus on this next set of challenges just after pivoting the business. Some of the learnings about shopping behaviour since the start of the lockdown is about two months since New Zealand went into a government-imposed level lockdown to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand. New Zealanders stood in solidarity for the health of our people regardless of age or socio-economic status. The economy stood still for four weeks and cautiously was allowed to open in a staggered rollout dependent on the level of people to people contact the businesses had, their ability to social distance at the workplace and provide contactles­s payment. During this period business owners pivoted their business entities to meet the new criteria for trading, which allows them to generate cash flow. “Buy local” is now the mantra for New Zealand. A targeted call to support the 98 percent of small to medium New Zealand businesses that were highly likely to have been negatively impacted with a lost revenue yet still having fixed costs to pay over the last two-month period and the swirling dynamics that entails. The next challenge for a business owner is to understand how their customers or target market has changed over that eight-week period. An interestin­g fact that according to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit. The study also concluded that, on average, it takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic. Which means by the time potential customers leave lockdown level three a new habit will have been formed, and it will be in both the way they shop nd Companies and brands are now being held to a new standard, customers have indicated they want to hear how the businesses are operating during these uncertain times. It’s clear that current and future consumer buying decisions will be affected by how brands respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Consumers expect brands to shift their business priorities and resources to respond and adapt to current challenges appropriat­ely and to show both compassion and relevance to the current situation. In a nutshell these are four consumer habits that are predicted to stay However, at this stage, it is still unknown if consumers will be more or less brand loyal moving forward, but we do know that brands that keep their purpose at the forefront will be well-positioned to maintain sales (and trust) of consumers in the long term. So for the SME business owner who wears many hats, the customer engagement and retention arena has developed several layers of complexity that need to be understood. Your customers have not left you, but they have changed how they engage with you. They are now savvier and more discerning in their purchase of your service or product. How you connect with them will not just be one mechanism but an array of channels that are synchronis­ed to push the potential customer to engage and purchase with you. You marketing mix could be as an example Facebook campaign, supported by print media that has an online presence, and a video embedded into your website about your product or service all acting as re-enforcers to lead the customer to engage with your business. The reality is, know your customer and understand them in this time of uncertaint­y as at the end of the day all they seek is a sense of normality and as a business owner you can seek solace knowing that they will return to you but how you engage with them going forward will be a new chapter in your business saga. ▲ Online purchasing will continue to be a prominent channel for consumer buying going forward. Brands and organisati­ons that haven’t historical­ly been easily available online must rapidly adapt to the “new normal” or they won’t survive. ▲ Consumers will continue to turn to delivery services for restaurant and grocery food items. People are adapting to spending more time at home, and it is predicted they will eat out less in the immediate future but still support their local favourites. ▲ Luxury purchases will likely decline significan­tly, as consumers continue to reduce their discretion­ary spending. However, people will continue to spend above-average amounts on products related to disease prevention, pandemic prevention, health, food, medicine and home improvemen­t. ▲ Greater media consumptio­n, ▲ Consumers prefer to spend less and are only buying what they need given the current landscape. ▲ Brand loyalty is a low priority for consumers, as product availabili­ty is of the highest importance. ▲ Consumers will be slow to come back to brick-and-mortar retailers, and the majority of the e-commerce business will continue to go to the biggest players like Amazon, Alibaba and Trade Me ▲ Consumers are considerin­g new forms of entertainm­ent. Consumers are turning to new forms of entertainm­ent such as subscripti­ons services like Netflix, Disney+ and Spotify. Online video content on YouTube and TikTok has captured Generation Z and Millennial­s. While Wechat and Facebook have captured another demographi­c. ▲ With higher consumptio­n and engagement on social media, 出版/ PUBLISHER新­西兰信报传媒集团Ne­w Zealand Messengers Ltd 电话/TEL:+64 3 338 0168 电子邮箱/Email: nzmessenge­r@xtra.co.nz 网址/Website: www.nzmessenge­rs.co.nz

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