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    October 7, 2020
    5 minute read

    How to Stay Ahead of Shifting Consumer Buyer Behavior in a Changing COVID-19 Market

    by: Barb Mosher Zinck

    Consumer buyer behavior is continuously changing. What’s essential one day is no longer critical the next. And the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is only making it harder for brand manufacturers to keep up.

    As brands and consumers continue to adapt to the ongoing crisis, staying on top of market trends is more important than ever. But it’s about more than tracking trends; it’s also about the ability to respond to them quickly to stay ahead of an ever-changing market.

    Monitor Evolving Trends to Gain Strategy Insights

    Change is the only constant in commerce, and understanding how markets and shopping behaviors are evolving can help your brand stay ahead of your competition. There is a wide range of publications that can help you monitor consumer behavior and market trends and tools that can help you uncover these insights.

    Google Trends is one tool that can help you uncover information about Google search requests, as well as Google Shopping, YouTube, and Google Images search requests. Use it to explore categories and topics related to your brand. Examine search terms by language, locale, and even time periods.

    This information can then be used to improve your product content. According to a Google and Ipsos study, 86% of consumers are always looking for shopping ideas and inspiration when they are online. One of the best ways to get their attention and stand out on the digital shelf is with enhanced content.

    Stand Out With Enhanced Content

    As consumers continue to move to digital shopping channels, such as online shopping and curbside pickup, seamless omnichannel shopping experiences become essential for compelling shoppers to buy. From one buying channel to the next, shoppers expect your content to remain consistent and engaging.

    Enhanced content, such as image galleries, graphics, video, comparison charts, and more, can help shoppers gain the information they want about your product in an immersive way. It can also help increase conversion rates by 10% across most categories.

    Stay Ahead With Ecommerce Insights

    Understanding how your brand is performing is essential for optimizing your strategy. A digital shelf analytics tool can help you gain a holistic view of your product detail page (PDP) performance, which can help inform strategic decisions to help you turn insights into action.

    Regularly monitor and evaluate SEO keyword recommendations to improve search rank and discoverability and understand your share of search within a specific channel. If a competitor is winning a higher share of search results, or a higher ranking for a similar product, then you need to update your product content to include the right keywords.

    The Google study also found that 60% of people discovered brands by watching videos and browsing text and image-based search results. Consider adding new content in the form of videos and images that can appear in search results and capture your customers’ attention.

    Monitor and Adapt Quickly to Trends

    Trends are necessary to track, and engaging content experiences are critical for capturing the attention of consumers. But equally important is the ability to update product content quickly across all your digital channels, whether it’s an online retailer like Amazon or Walmart, or your direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel.

    But manually going into each channel and making the required changes takes time — and with trends, your window of opportunity is limited. An activation tool can help you manage, publish, and adapt product experiences quickly to keep up with these changes. Using a centralized system to store product content also allows you to ensure content consistency across your sales channels.

    Unpredictable market changes, such as those spurred by COVID-19, are just one reason for monitoring trends. There are many annual events like holidays that could benefit from understanding these changes. Whatever the reason, when you track trends related to your products carefully, you know what kind of changes you need to make to your product content to stand out on the digital shelf.

    Learn more about how COVID-19 is accelerating digital trends Rob Gonzalez, co-founder of Salsify and founding member of the DSI, compiles signals from market data, consumer behavior, and brand manufacturer execs to offer a view of how durable this shift towards digital will be, and how leaders in retails, brands, and the ecosystem that supports them should accelerate their digital commerce strategies.

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