Thought leadership

Some interesting new research in this week’s newsletter stresses the vital need for retailers and consumer businesses more broadly to adapt to better serve customers post-COVID-19.

The analysis from KPMG reveals that consumers are feeling far more financially constrained, are more digitally savvy, and place greater emphasis on their trust in brands as a result of the pandemic.

In the earlier stages of the pandemic, consumers were keen for businesses to focus on altruistic measures (protecting employees, supporting key workers and assisting the government and local communities in their response). More recently though, they are calling for quality customer support, options to reduce or delay spend and frequent and clear communication from organisations

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said:   “The early stages of the pandemic saw retailers having to react quickly to a unique set of circumstances, and although many have put their resilience plans into operation, they are now trying to adapt to the new reality that lies ahead on a more permanent basis. In many cases that will result in the need to review both business models and their ways of working going forward, factoring in the shift in consumer behaviours and expectations.

Tim Knight, Customer Advisory Partner at KPMG UK, added:  “A new customer is emerging in the wake of COVID-19 – one who is more financially constrained, more advanced in their use of digital, and more thoughtful in their decision making.

“The new customer wants brands to put purpose before profit, as we are arguably entering an ‘integrity economy’.  They also want businesses to innovate, accelerate their move to digital and demonstrate their values.  Business leaders will need to either face into this storm of change and adapt or be prepared to batten down the hatches and hope the old models return.”

Some really insightful findings here from the KPMG research. The challenges they focus on will be examined in detail at our upcoming Virtual Customer Engagement Transformation conference this autumn. Look forward to welcoming you there.

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