March 19, 2021

The COVID-19 Consumer: How Your Business Can Adapt to Changing Consumer Behaviours

In the age of COVID-19, consumer behaviours have shifted dramatically over the past year. With decreasing attention spans, a need for more simplified processes, heightened health and safety measures and the climatization to life at home, consumers have had to become more comfortable and familiar with the digital world.

According to a recent study done by McKinsey, consumers post-pandemic are likely to keep the behaviours that they have adopted amid stay-at-home orders such as more online shopping and fewer mall visits. As a small business that has been accustomed to cultivating a community in-person, the approaches to maintaining a successful business that once existed need to shift. 

So, with new consumer behaviours sticking around for the long haul, how can one shift their business to accommodate this “new normal”?

The Rise of Ecommerce

With ecommerce increasing by 31.8% in North America over the course of 2020, shopping online is here to stay for the average consumer. With new types of ecommerce rising because of the pandemic, social commerce is now predicted to account for 4.3% of all total ecommerce sales in 2021 (eMarketer).  

Pivoting Your Business

What does this mean for you and your business? Cue your entrance into the digital space. Having a strong brand presence on social media and creating a well-made, branded and responsive website is half the battle. Those tactics not only make way for stronger brand awareness, but also give your brand the opportunity to capitalize on the new way of consuming – via social or online purchasing.

Demographic Perspective

These approaches also work to set your business up for long term success. With Millennials and Gen Zers spending on average over 6 hours a week shopping online (McKinsey), brands that want to maintain longevity need to create a presence online. 

Source: EBookFriendly.com

By establishing your digital dominance in the space now, it works to help both your brand’s current and future goals. It also helps your brand remain relevant to ongoing trends and shifts in behaviour, ensuring that your brand stands strong in the midst of the mass digital shift the world is experiencing.

So, when creating your annual marketing plan, thinking of new initiatives to amplify your brand or thinking about expanding your presence online, know that digital is not slowing down by any means and now will always be the time to start adapting to the new consumer behaviours.


Survey: US consumer sentiment during the coronavirus crisis. (2020, December 12). Retrieved March 19, 2021, from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/survey-us-consumer-sentiment-during-the-coronavirus-crisis

Lipsman, A. (2021, February 03). Social commerce 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2021, from https://www.emarketer.com/content/social-commerce-2021

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