LOCALiQ offers tips for how to maximize new consumer behaviors
MCLEAN, Va. – According to LOCALiQ, the marketing arm of the U.S.A. Today network, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed and shaped consumer behavior in ways not seen before.
“Consumers have adapted to buying differently and now show confidence when shopping online,” said Lonni Lattie, senior content strategy manager for LOCALiQ. “We believe these behaviors will continue, and we are seeing these trends with older audiences as well. Online is an important place to be since that’s where people are spending time and money.”
Lattie spoke during a recent webinar directed at members of the home furnishings industry.
Research from LOCALiQ shows that search interest for furniture products is back to typical levels since the initial dip around March, and in many instances, there is a noticeable increase in interest. Internet searches for desks have jumped by 60% while searches for sofas and mattresses have increased by 7% over the past few months.
Screen time for families has also increased dramatically since the start of the pandemic. This includes time watching television, on the Internet and using mobile devices, according to data from LOCALiQ.
“We have seen a shift in media behaviors,” Lattie said. “Radio is not playing as big of a role since many people have stopped commuting. The increased screen time also offers the opportunity to leverage new technology, such as augmented reality, to create trust and build confidence. We believe that taking advantage of the increase in screen time by offering new technology is powerful.”
Another option for retailers, according to Lattie, includes educating consumers about how to purchase furniture as part of the marketing process including offering advice on style, how to maximize their budget, quality differences and a brand differentiation perspective. “Our data shows that customer experience is overtaking price and product selection as a differentiator for brands,” she added.
To that end, consumers want to hear from brands more often and not just with information about promotions. Survey data from LOCALiQ shows that 56% of customers want to hear about how brands are taking steps to improve their communities through donations and other activities; 40% of consumers want to know what brands are doing in response to the pandemic; and 43% want to more frequently receive communication from the brands they know and trust.
Some of the immediate recommended steps for retailers and brands to take include getting active on social media since it’s quick, visible and can be very affordable; developing an email marketing strategy so consumers know they will receive information on a regular basis; and sharing information via a blog or other vehicle to help educate consumers about how to successfully navigate the complex world of home furnishings.