Over the past three years, we have witnessed significant changes in consumer buying behavior due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes disrupted many companies, some of which are still experiencing a major decrease in sales due to post-pandemic changes. Understanding this shift in online consumer behavior can help you implement the changes necessary to remain successful in the e-commerce industry.
The Shift in Consumer Buying Behaviors
In 2019, consumers across the U.S. spent over $10 trillion on products and services. During this time, most consumers utilized brick-and-mortar locations for shopping purposes. However, in-person locations began taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and local businesses started closing their doors. As such, consumers had no choice but to shift to alternate solutions.
Personal spending fell drastically in 2020, as people were hesitant to splurge. Savings increased as people set aside their money out of worry about personal well-being and the health of their friends and family. Concerns reached an all-time high in April 2020 as virus cases spiked across the U.S., prompting more people to save their money rather than spend.
During the height of the pandemic, more people turned to alternative avenues for shopping. More than one-third of consumers tried new products and brands, while 73% of these consumers said they would continue to seek new brands and products in the future, creating a dramatic shift in shopping habits on a large scale.
How Post-Pandemic Behaviors Are Transforming Retailers
In 2022, we’re seeing more Americans spending, with 51% of consumers reporting a desire to splurge and indulge themselves. Higher-earning Millennials will likely outspend all other age groups on apparel, travel, footwear, and experiences like concerts, dining, and spectator sports.
Reports from credit and debit card companies show an increase of nearly 20% in online shopping since January 2020. And more than 92% of shoppers who tried online shopping in 2019 have continued to do so in 2020 and beyond. Consumer loyalty to online shopping is largely due to convenience, access to more products, and shopper enjoyment.
The pandemic also led to several instances of channel-switching and brand loyalty disruption among consumers, who embraced convenience and value over adhering to one brand. Seventy-five percent of consumers developed new shopping behaviors that they have carried with them post-pandemic.
Challenges to Online Sellers
Given the dramatic changes in online shopping, sellers who use online platforms like Amazon often experience unique issues that hinder their ability to maximize their earnings. Delayed delivery times and Amazon warehouse holdups make it even more difficult for sellers to get their inventory to consumers. These challenges cause major issues for sellers preparing for the holiday shopping surge around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In addition to warehousing problems, many sellers are seeing an increase in the amount of competition they have. There are still more buyers than sellers, but with literally thousands of new sellers joining the platform every day, a competitive environment is hard to avoid. In these situations, sellers rely on prices to sell their products, which makes it difficult to compete.
Effective Strategies to Boost Appeal and Sales
With aggressive competition and changing consumer trends, implementing an effective Amazon e-commerce strategy is crucial for success. Here are two simple strategies to get ahead of the game and uniquely position your store in front of the widest audience possible:
- Use Amazon algorithms to your advantage.
Studying the current algorithms at play is essential if you wish to increase your online store’s exposure. A well-known strategy to get ahead of the competition is utilizing Amazon algorithms. For example, Prime Day is a one-day event that Amazon holds mid-summer when most sellers put on big promos for the corresponding day or week. Many people shop online for Prime Day discounts, so you can set up specific Prime Day sales to generate more traffic during the Amazon event. This strategy might be particularly beneficial for brands that don’t generate a lot of organic traffic or that rely on large events such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday to gain exposure.
- Focus on brand awareness.
A strong brand makes businesses instantly recognizable and often brings customers back time and time again. It can create a sense of loyalty that lasts a lifetime. Spend a little bit of extra money on advertising to make people aware of and familiar with your brand so you’re already ingrained in their minds when the competition tries to enter the equation.
If you’re interested in exploring your options when it comes to revamping your storefront and increasing brand awareness, contact us at Streiff Marketing for an assessment. We know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to remaining relevant in the e-commerce world. Our team can review the trends surrounding your storefront and implement an e-commerce digital marketing solution that works for your specific needs.