There’s plenty of rhetoric talking about consumer trends, but what does the data tell us about changing consumer behaviours and what can businesses learn? Over 200 million businesses use our platforms to connect with over 2.5 billion monthly users, and we’ve seen many businesses use the free tools on Facebook and Instagram to change the way they operate, and even find new customers across national and international borders, writes Melinda Petrunoff, Director of Small and Medium Business, Facebook ANZ.
As people have changed the way they work and connect with one another, so too is the way they conduct commerce. To help businesses prepare for tomorrow, we’ve identified the key shifts in Australian customer behaviours, and how you can use them to your advantage.
The 5 consumer trends you need to know
Digital shopping accelerated
The way people are shopping has condensed years of change into months. Through a mix of curiosity and necessity, more people are shopping online. During May this year, nearly half of Australians (47%) tried buying online for the first time, and 34% of Australia’s digital purchasers were Baby Boomers, compared to 25% in 2016. Interestingly too, online sales for luxury items grew by 116% as people indulged during the lockdowns, showing the digital shopping experience is growing in size and variety.
If your business hasn’t already, review all of your online channels, and think about if you offer the best online experience. Put yourself in the perspective of your customers (or future customers) and consider if your Facebook and Instagram pages, website and eCommerce shop works. Are they easy to navigate, can you find information easily? How seamless is the process to purchase?
Modern loyalty equation
Beyond savings, there are new elements to modern loyalty, which include:
- Availability: Can people buy your product where they shop?
- Affordability: Are you making people an offer they can’t resist?
- Attributes: Do you offer the benefits that matter for the foreseeable future?
- Altruism: Are you taking action to help people?
- Action: Are you offering frictionless options for safer shopping?
- Assurance: Are you telling people what you’re doing?
For businesses this really distils down to understanding your customer, and what is truly important to them and how likely do these values impact the final decision to purchase. Once you’ve identified these elements, you can shape your strategy and content around these.
Australians are experimenting with contactless ways of shopping through social media. Younger Australians are connecting with the world through social media presenting an opportunity for businesses. During May this year, 83% of Gen Z’s reported having spent more time on social media, while 30% reported having also shopped via social media during May. On Instagram, 130 million people tap to reveal a Shopping Tag globally every month.
As more people spend time on their mobiles, what’s going to catch their attention is content which entertains them. Once you’ve got their attention, make it as easy as possible to educate them and guide them to finish the sale, with as little effort as possible.
Big missions, micro-actions
People are more connected and engaged with issues that matter to them. Nearly half (47%) of those surveyed said that a brand that gives back to its local community is important in the purchase decision. This reinforces the need to get involved with online communities and connect with people with shared passions and beliefs.
Communities are essential to businesses, and you can tap into online communities through things like Facebook Groups to connect with people with shared passions, beliefs or situations as your brand. You can deepen your understanding of the values and causes which resonate the most for your customers and help foster meaningful connections.
How can businesses prepare in an ambiguous market? The businesses that have done well over the last few months are ones that can change the way they operate quickly and find new ways to reach customers. We’ve seen businesses incorporate digital tools to offer new services like subscription services or paid live-streamed events. Conditions are constantly changing, so businesses should constantly be evaluating how their customers can change their behaviour.
The needs of your customers are always changing, so too should your business in the way it operates. Try not to be set in your processes or way of thinking for too long, as it can change in an instant.
Consumer behaviour is constantly evolving, and the pandemic has forced businesses of all sizes to shift in how they operate. We can’t predict the future, but what we’ve seen with the millions of businesses on our platforms which have adapted to change quickly, is they’ve managed to put themselves in a more confident position to take on whatever comes next.
The Facebook for Small Business website contains all the tools and resources to help your business connect with the people who will love your business. Keep going. Keep growing. With Facebook Tools.
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