Vaccines and stimulus checks have people thinking of moving toward what we used to think of as normal. Vaccinated seniors are setting the trend to get even with the pandemic by spending money and getting out. They call it revenge spending.
Attending events, going shopping, and travel are rising to the top of consciousness. People want liberation.
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Last week an article came across my desk about “revenge shopping” as a rebound from the pandemic. At first, I laughed, then realized I had participated.
It turns out that in China, one of the first places to reopen their malls, sales spiked through the roof. Not only were they buying basics, but they also went for luxury items like Louis Vuitton bags.
After the January stimulus checks started going out, department store sales increased 21% in the US.
Tired of wearing sweatpants, chasing kids, and working from home, women want to go out. They want to dress up and wear something new. Even the trip into a store is starting to sound exciting.
Depending on location, online shopping is still the norm. I ordered something last week and actually went into the store to pick the item up and try it on. It was just the sales staff and me, which felt a little odd. Changing room signs proclaimed: Freshly Sanitized. It felt so decadent and liberating even with social distancing and wearing masks.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Bloomberg reports that during 2020 many people saved money. No trips, events, or outings. Lots less discretionary purchases. They estimate there is $1.7 trillion waiting to be spent.
It’s time for businesses to get on board in the right ways for the coming surge.
I dove through every report I could find on this topic, and there are many reports and articles out there. It won’t happen all at once, and the timing will be different based on location. But based on conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends, people are ready for change.
Businesses in the hardest-hit sectors, like restaurants, hospitality, and apparel, are ready too. It was a very long, tough 2020.
I also researched how our buying patterns have changed and what we expect from businesses moving forward. There are some shifts that effective marketers are already implementing, and it can help your business too.
Consumers are tired of the sea of useless information. Regardless of where your content is, it must have value if you want to keep their attention. Value equals helpful information.
I replied to an email a company sent me complimenting them on its content. It provided useful information on an alternative way to deal with seasonal allergies. Something they don’t even sell! Unheard of— but very refreshing.
Today’s buyer is looking for authenticity and value. We also are craving connection. For most of us, it’s been too long since we’ve visited with family and friends. Without social media and virtual visiting, the year would have been much worse.
To maximize sales, we need to engage and connect with customers where they are looking for information. That means now, and we need to make sure and have the right presence the right way on social media.
We need to have conversations with prospects. We need to respect what they are looking for, including the increased focus on social consciousness.
Dependence on social media grew in 2020, and we started using it in new ways. Pre-pandemic social focused on status updates—things like sharing selfies, where we’d been, and what we’d done.
Today that’s shifted to social being a key place to find solutions. Have a question? Someone has an answer, just post it. Need a solution? Social is where we go.
We want those solutions to reflect our increased need and desire for value and wellbeing. Users need simple ways to cope and manage stress, working from home, parenting issues, or managing a flex work schedule. They want to know how to take a vacation in the COVID environment.
If you or your product is a solution, you need to be on social media and help them find you. That means more than having a Facebook business page with periodic product posts. It means having conversations. It even has a new title...
When we were forced to shift to online buying, we lost something. We lost connection with people, and we lost the ability to ask questions or get advice. When you go into a store, there is usually someone you can ask. Online? Not so much.
Conversation Commerce, also called C-Commerce, (CC), is working to fill that need. It’s considered any way you connect with your buyers using conversation.
Your CC could be an AI-driven chatbot, a person you can chat with online or via phone, or another messaging program like WhatsApp. Even Alexa is included because of the way you use words to tell her what to do.
The process puts the customer in control. They reach out and initiate the conversation. They hope you will guide them to the right purchase. If no one is there or doesn’t respond promptly to messages, they’ll look elsewhere.
As the quality of these interfaces increase, the process will become even more valuable. If you’re stuck with a poor-quality chatbot, replace it or go back to a person.
IT Cosmetics uses live chat. Their phone lines and chat lines are open 9-5 Eastern, six days a week. If you’re on the opposite side of the country, it’s not a perfect answer, but it’s better than a chatbot that has limited capabilities.
If your chatbot can only respond to specifically limited choices, the shopper is left stuck and frustrated. It feels like going into a department store with no salespeople. If you can’t get the help you need, you leave with a negative feeling.
Globally, 84% of people surveyed said customer support is equally essential to what is sold. That makes it critical to get conversations going and help your shoppers.
2020 brought lots of changes, including the trend for social consciousness. From mental health to equality, social justice, caring for the planet, and inclusivity, it’s all part of the package. Awareness is accelerating even more in 2021.
Social consciousness isn't something a business can afford to ignore. It’s not going to go away, and it’s part of the new normal. Hiding your values isn’t a path to success.
Sharing your position is also a way to connect more emotionally with buyers. When you develop and share a mission-driven campaign to help people or the planet, you build connections. They become your avid fan because your message resonates with them.
Getting prepared with social media, enhancing conversational commerce, and embracing social consciousness will position you to tap into the coming spend.
Looking to increase lifetime buyer value, build sales, and more engagement? Let’s have a quick chat. You can message me: [email protected]
Judith Culp Pearson receives three top honors
at the annual Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals in
Ft. Worth, Texas - October 7-9, 2023