Think With Google – 4 Covid Era Trends

Here are some thoughts on the article: “4 COVID-era trends that will have a lasting impact on the products and experiences people want” published on Think With Google, written by Marvin Chow, Kate Stanford, published March 2021.  Quotes are from the article listed above.

E-commerce Grew Exponentially

No surprise to anyone,  e-commerce grew during the pandemic.  What was surprising was the rate of growth.  Ten years of e-commerce growth occurred in just 3 months. 

Don’t think that this means if  you aren’t “selling” something that this hasn’t affected you.  Everyone is trying to persuade someone to do something.  Even non-profits, historical societies and small school districts have a purpose to their outreach online. 

Did you improve your own online sales or outreach during this time?  Many of your competitors did.

 … e-commerce acceleration has been profound (in the U.S., growth was equivalent to 10 years in 3 months) …

Be Creative

Improving your online presence doesn’t just mean spinning up a shiny new e-commerce website and sitting back to take orders.  It means being smarter online, creating personal connections with new and existing customers.  It also means finding new ways to be available and helpful. 

Online forums, live-streams, Zoom meetings & classes, public and private community groups, Google search optimization, Google My Business, good old social media, and email newsletters are all ways you can improve your engagement with your current and future clients. 

The key is doing whatever your patrons will get the most value out of.  Focus on your audience’s needs.

Brands had to get creative and find new, more meaningful ways to connect with consumers.

Be Human

People really respond to a compassionate personal touch.  With social distancing, political strife, and confusing changes to day-to-day life, we all simply wanted to feel less stress.  Make it easy to work with you.

Curbside delivery, no-contact option at the auto mechanic’s shop, smaller sizes for free shipping, these changes all helped people feel less stress, and thus more appreciative to the vendors providing the services. 

Think about it.  What do you, or an at-risk friend, appreciate most when engaging with a service provider?  Who has stepped up their game and who hasn’t.  How do you feel about those that adapted and offered new or improved services vs. those that didn’t?

… stop defining digital narrowly as another “channel” for selling things, but instead as an enabler of transformative, user-first experiences that boost loyalty.

Explore Locally

Shop local isn’t new, however it is even more relevant.  Many people were restricted in their travel.  People are dramatically increasing their search for “XYZ near me”. 

Many new customers are learning of service providers close to home, creating new shopping habits and connections to vendors that they never would have found before.  This will be a new normal way of searching for products or services for many people long after the pandemic is over.  Put in an effort to improve your local search rankings and creating content that will provide a local flavor and/or sense of place that your audience can relate to.

Last summer, searches for “support local businesses” grew globally by over 20,000% year over year.

What About You?

What are your thought about how human behaviour has changed in the past year?  Where has your organization risen to meet these challenges?  What do you think you need help with?

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Author:  Scott Cannon

Helping NPOs & businesses for over 30 years as a technology consultant. I now focus on helping people use their website and social media more efficiently and effectively.

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