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It's hard to believe that it's been almost two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began to make its way around the world-changing virtually every industry you can think of in its wake.

The same is true of marketing, which depends more on business-to-consumer relationships than most. Make no mistake: the pandemic has absolutely changed consumer behaviors and buying patterns and if you're going to thrive in the future, your marketing needs to change right along with it.

The COVID Effect

By far, the biggest impact the COVID has had on consumer behavior has to do with a shift towards online shopping - something that experts agree is both "significant and sustained."

Think back to the early months of the pandemic when most people were still incredibly scared to so much as think about leaving their homes. Obviously, they turned to online shopping in an effort to meet basic needs. They were still wiping sanitizer all over their home-delivered groceries and other items, but this e-commerce solution was seen as a viable way to get by.

Even though vaccines are rolling out across the world and an end to the pandemic may (gratefully) be in sight, this preference for online shopping hasn't changed. If anything, the traditional in-store experience is seen as a "last resort" - something that people are only really willing to go through if they absolutely have to.

Therefore, in an effort to reach this health-conscious audience, you need to convey what you're doing on this front - even if you also run an in-person location in their area. People want to know what you're doing in terms of online ordering, and they're especially interested in things like curbside pickup. Your marketing needs to become a big part of how you get this information to the masses.

Even if everything were to suddenly return to "normal" tomorrow, something like curbside pickup is very likely here to stay. It's too quick and too convenient than wading into a store and dealing with crowds. Therefore, a part of your marketing needs to convey that you understand these needs, you understand why they're important and they're not going away anytime soon (if applicable, of course).

Overall, people are still wary about the in-store shopping experience - but this is only a disruption if you allow it to be. Those savvy businesses that were able to pivot in the wake of changing consumer behaviors are the ones who have been able to make it through COVID and come out all the better for it. Those who are still clinging to hope that everything - including servicing customers and marketing to them - will return to the way it used to be, will be the ones who are sorely disappointed in the not-too-distant future.

If you're eager to find out even more information about how COVID has impacted both consumers and the ways in which we reach them with our marketing messages, or if you'd just like to get answers to any other specific questions you may have, please don't delay - contact InfoStream Solutions today.