May 13, 2020 - 1488 views|
While governments work on an economic stimulus, businesses need to offer an “experience stimulus" to reflect new consumer concerns and behaviors.
COVID-19 is still very much an evolving situation across the globe, with many uncertainties and “what-if” questions that have no answers. The only certainty is that consumer behaviors, attitudes and patterns are undergoing unprecedented change, triggered by anxiety, concern, dismay and doubt caused by both the pandemic itself and the onslaught of information, misinformation and irrelevant information fueled by the digital ecosystem.
So while governments across the globe are working on economic stimuli to rebuild their economies, it’s imperative for businesses to provide an “experience stimulus” for the new world that emerges – that is, a coordinated effort to tweak the experiences they offer to fit well in the post-COVID-19 era.
In addition to impacting consumer spend, the behavioral changes of consumers will also reduce the efficacy of millions of dollars previously spent on behavioral research that will need to be updated in light of the pandemic. It’s up to user experience professionals to address this change by providing an experience that’s relevant to our current times, thus encouraging engagement with the digital solutions we’ve built.
This experience stimulus, which should evolve over time, requires initiatives, ideas, tools, methods and incentives that reflect the behavioral changes we see today. For example, in recent research by eMarketer, 60% of consumers indicate they’ll eat out less due to COVID-19. This would mean that experience stimuli like coupons and discounts would be less effective than in the past, and that consumers would look for more reassuring means to gain back confidence, like waiving delivery fees.
Changing Times Call for a Changed Brand Experience
Here are the top three experience stimuli that businesses can use to help customers cope with the changing times:
The Way Forward
While delivering an experience stimulus is an important step forward to helping consumers cope and increasing their digital engagement, it’s also crucial to stay ahead of customer needs, behaviors and emotional states. There is no “one size fits all” approach, and it’s the responsibility of companies to devise an informed strategy that involves the following steps:
Brands across the world have already started to pilot these types of experience stimuli. Many popular take-out delivery apps have started to accommodate grocery orders, with assurance about their safety policy and an emphasis on contactless operations. Fine-dining restaurants are reinventing not just their business models but also their menus. Pizzerias have started to offer pizza kits to patrons to home-assemble and bake their own pizza, thereby creating a family activity. Virtual storefronts have started bringing High Street to consumer homes to mimic physical shopping experiences virtually.
Every business will need to prepare for colossal human behavioral change triggered by the pandemic. By providing an “experience stimulus,” they can encourage more people to use the digital solutions they’ve built.
Visit our COVID-19 resources page for additional insights and updates.