Post-pandemic consumer preferences revealed

New research by shopping app company Klarna reveals that 67 per cent of consumers now rate value for money as the most important thing for them since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Clicks and cliques: Understanding shopper tribes now survey of over 4000 consumers across Australia, Europe, the UK and the USA also shows that customers value promotions and deals (60 per cent), good reputation and trustworthiness, (60 per cent) and having a wide range of products available (58 per cent).

Over half of respondents (55 per cent) said that an easy returns process and next or same-day delivery options (51 per cent) have become more important this year. The report, designed to assess how copnsumer behaviour has changed since the onset of the pandemic, notes that 49 per cent doing more of us are now shopping online and 44 per cent are doing most or all their shopping online now.

Choice in payment options is also seen to have grown in importance, and in some cases can be a real dealbreaker for consumers. The report noted that 42 per cent prefer to shop from brands or retailers that offer flexible payment options, while 32 per cent won’t shop from those that don’t.

A year like no other

“This year’s events have transformed the way we browse and buy, reinventing our relationships with brands and retailers and accelerating change at an unprecedented rate,” Fran Ereira, Country Head of Klarna Australia, said. “Merchants must keep a finger on the pulse of their customers’ wants and needs and adapt their products and service offers accordingly to build a connection with shoppers to drive loyalty and, ultimately, sales.”

And Natalie Berg, Retail Analyst and Founder of NBK Retail, pointed out that although the retail industry is no stranger to disruption, nothing in our lifetime has jolted the industry like COVID.

“As retailers look to navigate the new normal, resilience and agility will be essential for survival,” Berg said. “There will be no return to the status quo. The days of being everything to everyone are well and truly over: in order to find their tribe, retailers need to be bold about who they are and what they stand for. Opportunities have emerged, enabling retailers to reimagine both physical and digital commerce for the future.”

Consumer “tribe” behaviours

The research uncovered subtle differences between groups of consumers, and how retailers can best engage with these groups: busy families are the most indifferent as to who they buy from, meaning retailers have to work harder to win their custom; aspirational, wealthy shoppers who buy premium products display the most brand loyalty; consumers who live in the moment and are heavily influenced by social media still plan to buy themselves nice things despite cutting down on other expenses; fashionistas with tight budgets prioritise brands that offer promotions and deals; and conscious consumers do most research into the brands they buy from to ensure those brands are sustainable.

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