COVID-19 has accelerated consumer behavior changes that few could imagine or predict prior to the onset of the global pandemic. Online purchases that were growing at an average of 1% a year before COVID-19 increased 15% in three months and are likely not to retreat anytime shortly. 75% of U.S. consumers have tried a new store, brand or different way of purchasing during the pandemic reports McKinsey & Company and the Yale Center for Customer Insights.
The bottom line is that consumer behavior has permanently changed. How can you take advantage of the new consumer mentality? According to McKinsey and Yale, there are five actions to consider to capitalize on the new normal.
Reinforcing Positive New Beliefs
A kitchen and bath showroom customer’s beliefs are not necessarily logical or rational. Changing someone’s mind is an uphill battle. However, COVID-19 has changed consumer behavior and, in doing so, change consumer beliefs. Think about how many of your customers before COVID-19 would have engaged in an initial Zoom call to talk about their project instead of visiting the showroom? Your clientele has changed the way they shop, work, socialize and exercise. Showrooms can take advantage of this forced change in consumer behavior by focusing on peak moments. A peak moment is the part of the consumer journey with a disproportionate impact that your customers remember the most. It could be a unique storage solution, a never-before-imagined countertop or smart-applications that make your customers say, "wow." Peak moments elicit intense customer reaction. Because your clientele’s world has been turned upside down, they will be more open to new options. Brainstorm with your team what their clients' peak moments have been and how you can capitalize on them in the future.
Shape Emerging Habits with New Offerings
Health and well-being are top of mind for almost everyone. This creates unique opportunities to promote your showroom's ability to create wellness centers in the home. With more homeowners cooking at home, you can be a trusted advisor when you recommend smart appliances, easy-to-clean cabinets, countertops, and other materials and demonstrate how to increase a kitchen or bath's functionality.
Sustain New Habits Using Contextual Clues
Contextual clues are a task, time of day or object placement that help turn behaviors into habits. An example is hand sanitizer usage. Many showrooms keep hand sanitizer at their entrances, and it's almost a rote reaction for consumers to use the sanitizer when entering and exiting the showroom. What contextual clues are resonating with your clientele?
Align Messages to Consumer Mindsets
Most Americans are tired. They are frustrated that their movement is restricted, many children are not able to attend school in person and have limited social interactions with no near-term solution on the horizon. Patience does not appear to be a virtue in today’s world. With many BKBG Shareholders busier than ever, new clients may not want to hear that you can’t get to their new kitchen for six months or longer. The effectiveness of your communication can become a competitive advantage.
Analyze Consumer Beliefs and Behaviors at a Granular Level
Brainstorm with your team how COVID-19 has changed your customer’s behavior. Take advantage of BKBG’s data analytic service to identify geographic regions that are underserved or not being served at all.
Showrooms that make an effort to better understand how COVID-19 has changed consumer beliefs, peak moments and habits can better focus their marketing, sales approaches and customer interactions.