Now that school is largely back in session, and adults who are able to return to work have largely done so, consumer behavior analysts have begun to cautiously put forth the idea that things have gotten back to a state as close to normal as they’re likely to get, at least until there’s a vaccine or more effective treatment for Covid-19. However, there is a persistent finding--not just in email marketing campaigns but more broadly when it comes to spend and other performance metrics--that indicates that consumers are still holding a bit more tightly to their wallets than they did before the pandemic and its accompanying economic crisis. Site Impact always looks at the data, and the latest studies do indicate that shoppers, while back to spending, are still not exactly rushing to spend money unnecessarily. This will, of course, impact strategies even as we head into the busiest shopping seasons of the year.
Early on in the Covid-19 crisis, the data indicated that discounts weren’t necessarily what consumers were most interested in; they wanted assurances that they would be able to shop safely, or options for home delivery or “click and collect” type functions that would enable them to get their purchases with a minimum of contact between themselves and people who might be carrying the dangerous virus. Now, however, with the economic situation more precarious for so many, discounts are a major driver of consumer interest--particularly for Baby Boomers and Gen X, less so for Millennials and Gen Z. Even if the performance isn’t as strong for discount offers when it comes to the two younger generations, they’re still responding: 42% of Gen Y and 28% of Gen Z respondents in a study by Epsilon’s Shopper’s Voice stated that they wanted special offers, more than other types of incentives.
There’s one consistency across multiple studies conducted by different consumer behavior analysts: shoppers are more selective than they were prior to the crises. This is not exactly surprising, given that a lot of consumers’ incomes have been restricted in some way--whether by temporary unemployment, or shorter hours, or other factors relating to the pandemic. But this does mean that brands will face a great deal of struggle through the end of the year to get prospects to open their wallets for nonessentials, even as people respond to stress and anxiety by spending on self-care and little luxuries. Email marketing efforts will have to be carefully managed through the Fall and especially in the holiday shopping season: information will be key, transparency and well-targeted offers will play a major role in driving consumer interest.
It’s impossible to unring a bell, and in the same way, shoppers have a firmer grip on their wallets than they did prior to the pandemic and the economic crisis that has accompanied it. Brands will need to gauge their email marketing and other advertising efforts carefully: provide discounts where they will drive the most interest, and information and options for different audiences that make sense for the concerns of each group. Contact Site Impact to hear how we use data to help our clients target their messages to exactly the people who are interested in them.