This article is part of Raydiant’s Consumer Behavior series which interviews top industry experts to better understand the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on consumers, how businesses can adapt to these changes and how it will shape shopping experiences in the future.
The following is an interview we had with Phillip Adcock, Managing Director of Adcock Solutions.
How has consumer behavior evolved over the past 5 years?
PA: With bricks and mortar stores becoming ever less interesting and stimulating (due to economists basing too may business decisions around cost-saving instead of investing), more shoppers have migrated to online. Even though, as a species humans like to hunt and gather, shopping has become boring, so more of it is done online (convenience over interpersonal interaction).
What are the biggest consumer behavioral changes you’re seeing due to COVID-19?
PA: Shoppers forced to look online due to store closures and out of stocks in the stores that remain open. After five years of encouraging us to shop online, the major grocery chains can’t now cope with the massive increase in online demand.
How can businesses adapt to these changes?
PA: Retailers need to increase capacity for the online operations, or create a new model: One that combines the store as a distribution hub, online ordering and importantly, more flexibility for their consumers/shoppers. To date, home delivery of groceries has proved a financial challenge. But if retailers could combine delivering groceries and then finding uses for the vehicles, so they don’t return to the store empty, then this could be very beneficial to all. One idea is to collect parcels from people’s homes and then send them to postal/delivery services.
What behavior trends should businesses be focused on?
PA: The evolutionary needs of hunter/gatherer humans and their needs for socialising. To attract shoppers and consumers, you need to make your business more appealing than any alternative and this means making them more emotional and less cost-driven. Once consumers are emotionally drawn to a business, they are 24X more likely to use it.
What will the consumer shopper of the future look like?
PA: Stores will no longer sell products. They will just exhibit brands. There will be the Sony display, the Samsung display, etc. But shoppers will then order products online. Already we are seeing more and more online shopping simply because bricks and mortar has much, much less choice. Why go to Home Depot to look at a range of 20 electric drills, when Amazon has 20,000?