| June 29, 2020
With the pandemic changing life in a never-seen-before way, it is inevitable for new and unique patterns to come out in every aspect of society. Right from the way we work to the way we communicate, everything has undergone a massive change. With such considerable modifications in lifestyle, it is natural for consumer behavior to change in tandem.
And, when you evaluate the changes in consumer behavior during COVID-19, it’s hard to miss the role smartphones played in it.
As the world went under lockdown, smartphones had stepped up as something more than a way to keep us connected. We have started depending on for everything, be it shopping, teleconferencing, or keeping updated about the ongoing situation.
Let’s take a closer look at how smartphones have changed consumer behaviors during COVID-19.
A steady shift towards online shopping
The preference for online shopping was already on the rise even before the pandemic hit. However, there was also a dedicated group of consumers who relied on mall crawling over online shopping. But, there was a complete change in the scenario as millions had to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus.
Reports suggest that there was a six percent increase in traffic on the retail platforms in March due to the pandemic. Though it’s not like the malls will be reduced merely to show windows, people will think twice before venturing into malls or stores as of now. Scrolling through the retail sites on the smartphone is consumer preference during COVID.
Increased emphasis on certain types of apps
As more activities are being carried out online and more hours are spent connected to both mobile and fixed broadband, the internet, almost like access to electricity, has become a necessity in daily life.
In this scenario, the use of certain smartphone apps has increased over the others. The fastest-growing apps during COVID-19 have been the ones related to wellness, remote working, and e-learning/education.
At the same time, the use of travel, weather, parking, and location apps has seen a considerable decline. This trend is an indication of the consumers adapting to the new normal. It will probably continue even after the lockdown eases because the rules of social distancing will still need to be followed.
Relying on online sources of entertainment
The change in consumer behavior was also noticed in the increased demand for online sources of entertainment. Estimates show that streaming has increased by 12%, while total internet hits by 70%.
As music shows and movie releases were halted all over the country, the online streaming networks came up as the lender of the last resort. And, with reputed smartphone companies like Mara phones coming up with high-end models with 5.7” HD display and Dolby sound, Netflix and chill was the option chosen by most consumers.
The bottom line
It suffices to say that COVID has fundamentally changed the way consumers behave. And, most of these changes are going to stick around long after everything goes back to normal.
The increased use of smartphones has altered the preferences and demands of consumers like never before. So, it is time now to reconsider our marketing and retail strategies as well, keeping in mind the current smartphone usage, as the new normal is not going away anywhere anytime soon.