Based on results from two surveys conducted before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, our findings uncovered significant shifts in consumer behavior. In fact, 70% of consumers have increased their saving behaviors in response to the global health crisis and resulting economic uncertainty, with 76% of these individuals confident that their new practices will continue over the next year.
For brands, this shift means marketing messages including coupons, discounts, and social media must adapt to this new consumer mindset. Brands that acknowledge consumer needs and make necessary changes to provide options to satisfy them are those that will reap the rewards even once the pandemic is behind us.
Here’s a peek at some of the eye-opening consumer and brand behavior insights you’ll discover in the report:
1. Brands need to stand for something.
Monetary value matters to consumers, especially during an economic downturn. However, many consumers are looking to support brands they can connect with and whose values align with their own. Forty-three percent of all consumers are more likely to purchase products from brands whose values align with theirs. This is also important among younger generations (47% of Gen Z and 55% of millennials).
2. Consumers crave social connection and shared experiences.
Amid social distancing and remote work, consumers are longing for connection and experiences, leading to higher rates of impulse purchases. For example, 35% of consumers shared that they had made an impulse buy based on something they saw on social media — a five percentage point increase from 2019.
3. Shoppers seek value through multiple channels.
In today’s connected world, consumers have more means than ever to make price comparisons. Seventy-six percent of consumers look to printed store circulars while 71% are using online circulars to determine the best price — both significant increases versus last year.
Post-purchase channels are also proving to be popular ways to save among younger generations. Millennials (51%) and Gen Z (43%) scan receipts with their mobile device to earn cash-back rewards or loyalty points post-purchase that can be applied the next time they buy from that brand, proving that brand interactions don’t end at the point-of-purchase.
4. Emotion and self-care drive decision-making.
Consumers are driven by impulse, and they’re ready to spend. Thirty-five percent of shoppers see themselves as primarily impulse purchasers, up seven percentage points from 2019. What’s more, nearly half of these consumers see their impulse buying habits as a way to “treat themselves.” Even in the midst of a pandemic, 45% of consumers are using coupons and discounts to expand their budget and purchase entertaining products or experiences for themselves.
In a rapidly-changing consumer environment, the brands that can pivot quickly to provide audiences with increased value in new ways are most likely to enjoy success both now and in the future. The first step is understanding how to provide consumers with value that actually matters to them.
Click here to download your copy of the 2020 Valassis “Consumer Intel Report, Chasing Value: The Mind of the Modern Shopper.”