Do you need help with something?

Share this article

What five things can Google teach us about consumer habits post-Covid?

07 Mar 2023

Here’s how COVID-19 has changed consumer behaviour.

The global pandemic has brought about a whole world of change. We have all been forced to dramatically change our everyday routines. But how exactly has this affected consumer habits? We turned to Adolfo Fernandez Sanchez at our #ThoseWhoDare event for the overview.

1. eCommerce became huge, and it’s only going to get bigger

With the majority of the population confined to our homes last year, and retailers across the globe closing the doors to their physical stores, it’s unsurprising to see that eCommerce reached an all-time high.

According to Google, 84% of the population in the UK already shops online, and this is mirrored around Europe and beyond.

Though as a society we’re beginning to reopen, Adolfo thinks that this change in consumer behaviour is here to stay.

“Most consumers shop online already, and it’s expected that this number will only grow”. Therefore, it’s vital that small businesses make the necessary investments, and continue to adapt their business models to satisfy consumer demand.

2. Consumer demands are set to remain dynamic

During our #ThoseWhoDare event, Adolfo revealed that in his mind, consumers will “continue to break established patterns and form new ones” and it’s important that small business owners are aware of this, and prepared to adapt if necessary.

Through the pandemic we saw constant shifts in consumer habits. One week web traffic was elevated towards sports equipment, and the next it was all about food and drink. For Adolfo, the best thing that small businesses can do is be aware of this.

Both big brands and small organisations should adapt to these fluctuations at will in order to meet market needs. Moulding your business to be agile and responsive is one of the best ways to tackle this uncertainty.

3. Consumers are being even more considerate of who they buy from

Issues such as systemic inequality, sustainability and other social concerns have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Consumers know this, and research shows that as a population, we’re becoming increasingly careful about the kind of brands we’re purchasing from.

Adolfo shared survey results which stated that “65% of people believe that small-medium businesses should commit to help make society better”.

With this in mind, it’s important that SMEs find authentic ways to demonstrate what their brand stands for, and connect with customers on a deeper level by building trust.

4. And consumers expect small-medium businesses to help out

Even more important than standing for something, is actively supporting those in need. Adolfo explains that while 65% of consumers believe that SMEs should commit to help make society better, a staggering 93% of those consumers actually mentioned that they actively expect companies to step up to support some of the most vulnerable communities, including the elderly, the unemployed, and front-line workers.

All the evidence points towards consumers looking for ways to be more socially conscious, and expecting that of businesses. Adolfo explains that on Google, searches for ‘how to help’ grew more than ever in 2020.

“Consumers are more present, they’re actively looking to help their communities, and the expectation of these consumers is that businesses should get involved as well.”

5. Consumers are looking local

As a result of increased travel restrictions, ‘shelter in-place’ mandates, social distancing guidelines, and a greater awareness to support struggling small businesses, it’s no shock that consumers are looking to their local area for retail, hospitality and other needs.

“As consumers, I think we show passion and interest in ensuring our communities continue to thrive”, explained Adolfo. With this in mind, it’s unsurprising that Google searches for “support local businesses” grew more than 20000% year-over-year last summer, and in the US, searches related to “near me” hit an all-time high in 2020.

However, does this mean that globalisation is a thing of the past? For Adolfo, that’s a no.

“This doesn’t mean we’re closing off from the world. The pandemic may have slowed down globalisation in the short term, especially across certain sectors. However, at the end of the day we live in a hyper-connected world. As the economy starts to reopen, consumers will continue to seek to satisfy their needs beyond national borders.” For small businesses, this means capitalising locally, whilst never forgetting the digital help at your fingertips to take your business out of your local area too.

Looking to stay tuned into consumer habits in a post-Covid world? Speak to one of our small business experts to see how we could help, and check out the full video from Adolfo Fernandez Sanchez at #ThoseWhoDare for more.

Related Articles