Even though we haven’t fully settled down after the pandemic, things are slowly getting back to normal. The real question is, what is the new normal? We’ve had a lot of time to reflect on our lives and businesses and both willingly and unwillingly made many adjustments, some minor and some quite radical. Every crisis turns our lives upside down, but what lays ahead is pretty remarkable and exciting. This gave us a good nudge and forced us to step off the known path and seek for new opportunities. Since a lot of things have been put on hold, it’s going to be interesting to see how everyone is coping and making up for lost time.
Consumer behaviours have been influenced and altered by the pandemic, so your business must keep up with new trends, or even better come up with a genius new trend that will be picked up fast. Being innovative isn’t enough if you don’t listen closely to consumer needs and stay alert for every shift on the market. These are some of the most interesting key points to pay attention to when thinking about developing new products and/or services and creating a new strategy as we are getting close to the end of the year.
Eco-friendly, zero-waste, sustainable, minimal impact, we’ve talked a lot about the green initiative over the time and innovations aiming to create a better world. It seems that we are now more than ever aware of the impact we have on the planet, thus more consumers are switching to brands that are supporting this initiative in their own way. The lockdown has forced us to realize that there aren’t that many things we buy out of actual necessity and that we can cut down a lot on packaging. Repurposing materials and circular approaches are becoming more and more popular and we are seeing a lot of new and innovative ways of use of different materials.
Getting in touch with nature and appreciating on the next level has inspired many to travel to many natural resorts and parks and just sink in all that beauty that seemed to have been vanishing right in front of our eyes. Some crossover between travel and housing has seen its increase in remodelled buses and campers. It seems that we have finally in the nick of time become aware of all the negative impact we’ve been leaving behind us.
Although we are approaching, or to be more precise we are long into the technological era, things are speeding up to the point where we are slowly getting behind, and actually need a break of all these sensory stimuli. Tech fatigue is yet another reason why more and more people have the need to step back and try to make peace with nature.
Changing the rules about customer experience
Going to a store hasn’t changed much over the years. Same cashiers, lines, searching for that one product almost indefinitely and just as you stand there in the middle of the aisle, you watch your life pass by. Not to mention bad customer service or other rude customers who become the cherry on top of a miserable day.
Since the pandemic and the lack of possibility to do any kind of shopping, most have turned to their computer and done all their shopping from the comfort of their home. Now for customers, this seems to be a lot more convenient, as they could almost instantly find the product, compare the prices with different dealers, and with just a few clicks wait for the product to arrive at their door. No more crowded places, rood assistants, and in some huge stores, jungles you need to navigate through on your own. The crisis didn’t stop us from connecting, but the technology continued to develop and gave us all the necessary tools to overcome the sudden setback. Many are now quite adjusted to this carefree, out of the comfort of their home, surfing and shopping. Although it is not a new concept and has been around for quite some years, this pushed other businesses to do the same, and allow their customers the same experience.
Generation gaps are becoming blurred and are overlapping
Not long ago it was simple to distinguish every generation, not just by their years but by their jobs, likes and dislikes, pastimes and beliefs. Now it is difficult for a business to pinpoint a certain segment of the generation and develop a product or service just for them. Why would this be difficult? Well if we take boomers, for instance, they’ve lived in the post-war era, where things slowly got back to normal, 9 to 5 jobs, age of rock and roll, a lot of festivals and so on. But then came kids, and dipper, taking to and back from school, homework, lifesaving for college and so many more things. The thing is, baby boomers are finally free to re-enjoy all the things they loved in youth. They are becoming more like millennials now, or boomerlennials. Businesses have this great opportunity to create products and services just for these segments that have highly been overlooked. They are the ones that have retired and now have the funds and time to enjoy life the way they want. And they are the ones that are finally embracing technology to the fullest and enjoying it in ways that were too distant in the past.
When it comes to generations such as Millennials and Gen Z, there are plenty of differences between their consumer behaviour and approach to life. Gen Z values more convenience over the brand and is more likely to do things on their own as well as multitask, whereas Millennials have a more group-like approach and are more tolerant to working with others. Nostalgia seems to play a big role not only in the fashion industry but in housing, music, art, almost anything anyone could think of. It seems that you can target almost any product to any generation. You just need to figure out what needs haven’t been met yet and create an innovative product that will for sure wow them.
This will be an interesting next few years to see the aftermath of the pandemic and how businesses and people have emerged from it. Some technological breakthroughs will certainly rise up to our expectations, but what is more interesting are those once thought of as pointless innovations, which weren’t worthy of mentioning. Those innovations might create the biggest, loudest boom in our existence, opening a passageway to an entirely new dimension.