How COVID-19 is changing shopping behavior on a global scale

The global shift to safer shopping has challenged brands of all sizes to rethink their retail strategies. As many people experience a fear of going out, or FOGO, safety has become a deciding factor in choosing where to shop. With this uncertainty, businesses have the opportunity to reimagine what shopping experiences can be by putting customers’ needs first. 

As we all prepare for 2021, and the possibility of new waves of COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions, delivering on evolving expectations is more important than ever. For example, I’ve been inspired by the agility of brands that prioritized customer experiences to make shopping safer. To help pivot your strategy to meet peoples’ needs, here are four tactics we’re seeing from brands that are shaping the future of safer shopping:

 

1. Double down on hybrid shopping.

 

Facebook IQ research reveals that  87% of people surveyed globally say they’re at least somewhat concerned about going into a physical retail store to shop because of the pandemic.1 Depending on their comfort levels, people opt for different degrees of safer shopping. This can look like shorter shopping trips, curbside pickup or contactless delivery. 

According to Facebook Conversation Data from February to May, conversations around contactless delivery grew over six times during that period,2 making the opportunity for offering hybrid shopping even clearer. For instance, Kirkland’s Home Décor utilized curbside pick-up when it temporarily closed brick-and-mortar locations. To boost awareness and sales, the team built Facebook video and photo campaigns that showcased the availability, ease and safety of curbside pickup. With Kirkland’s being one of the first retailers to implement curbside service, the campaign tripled the rate of curbside pickups, helping to boost business.

 

2. Eliminate friction.

 

As people spend more time online, many are using their smartphones as part of the shopping experience. From pre-store research to checkout, mobile has become a major part of the purchase journey. But a bad mobile experience such as hard-to-read text, slow-loading pages and difficult navigation can turn off shoppers.

How many times have you left a website because it took forever to load or it was too difficult to find what you were looking for? People want to be able to shop as effortlessly as possible. And now brands have an opportunity to make this a reality by eliminating friction at every step. 

 

3. Redefine shopping experiences. 

 

With more people embracing online shopping, businesses have an opportunity to pivot from transactional experiences to experiential ones that replicate the discovery and trial of in-store shopping. There are plenty of ways businesses can reimagine online shopping, such as giving customers the ability to virtually try on makeup with augmented reality filters, shopping in real  time with Facebook Live and buying directly through influencers.

A GFK study commissioned by Facebook IQ found that more people are leaning into AR and virtual reality, with 63% stating that they want to virtually try on products in the comfort of their own homes.3 A great example of AR trial experiences comes from

Read more

Coronavirus’ Impact On Customer Shopping Behavior And What To Expect For The Holidays

The coronavirus pandemic will have a profound impact on holiday shopping due to dramatically changed shopping behaviors. Customers want to feel safe shopping in stores and are spending money in different categories than last year, as we go into the holiday season. Inventories in stores are running significantly lower than last year and the rise in digital shopping has accelerated streamlined commerce. Care for the planet is a stronger purchasing consideration. 

Significant shifts in customer purchasing behavior

The impact of the pandemic has been a wake-up call for consumers, putting them on notice that nature prevails. Purchasing behavior shifted dramatically between March and August. In the first wave (March and April) of the pandemic, customers were focused on stocking up on groceries and household goods such as cleaning supplies, paper towels and toilet paper. Less discretionary spending was evident, especially on apparel and accessories which experienced a sales drop (year over year) of  51% in March and 86% in April for U.S. retailers. 

In the second wave (April through May) customer demand shifted toward products that supported a stay-at-home environment including remote learning and working from home. Growth was experienced in electronics, home office, home theater, games and streamed content.  

The third wave of the pandemic exhibited stronger sales in discretionary categories as compared to the first two waves. June through August apparel and accessory sales dropped 22-25% compared to last year, a great improvement from the drop of 62% in May. August brought a slow and extended back-to-school period which lasted through September and included shifts from the traditional categories of clothing and supplies to electronics and remote learning items. 

September sales results showed the best performance post-pandemic in apparel and accessories, dropping only 12%. Other segments that performed well in September were Grocery (up 10.5%), Home Improvement (up 23.4%) and Discount/Warehouse
CHEF
stores (up 6.8%). Traditional department stores, heavily reliant on apparel and accessories, continued their soft performance — down 8.2% but better than season-to-date at minus 19.4%. 

Superhero status

The hero segment is an obvious one with online purchasing leading throughout the pandemic. Season-to-date sales through September are up 22.1% over last year, with September itself up 27%. Amazon
AMZN
posted 26% increased revenue in the first quarter, 40% increased revenue in the second quarter, and is expected to post similar results for the third quarter.

While apparel and accessories were soft across all segments of the industry, Millennial and Gen Z favored online brand, ASOS, was able to achieve a 10% increase over the period of March through June, a beacon of light in an otherwise difficult category. 

Holiday shopping extends from October through December

Read more

K-Pop Star Irene Apologizes for “Immature Behavior” After Verbally Attacking Fashion Editor

K-pop star Irene has issued a public apology and revealed herself to be the subject of a journalist’s recent outcry.

Reportedly on October 20, a fashion editor named Kang Kook Hwa took to social media with allegations about an unnamed female celebrity who she accused of “spewing insults at my face.” She further described the encounter as “hell for 20 minutes.”

Following the claims, Irene, a 29-year-old member of South Korean girl group Red Velvet, came forward online.

“This is Irene,” the singer began in an Oct. 22 Instagram post, which was typed in Korean and has been translated to English. “I sincerely apologize for hurting the stylist with my foolish attitude and careless words and actions.”

“I received a lot of help from people who gave their effort for me to get to where I am now,” she continued, “and I regret that I hurt them greatly with my immature behavior. This incident has made me look back on the past, and I’m very ashamed of my poor words and actions, and I feel the importance of staff members once again.”

She concluded her message vowing to behave better. “I’ll think and act more carefully,” she declared, “so this does not happen again. I’m truly sorry to the fans who support me and for causing worry because of this incident.”

K-Pop’s Most Shocking Scandals

People online began to suspect Irene was the star at the center of Hwa’s post given that she concluded her caption with #pyscho and #monster, the names of recent singles from Red Velvet and its subunit, Irene & Seulgi.

In her social media post, Hwa, whose Instagram is currently private, reportedly recalled becoming “speechless as this person stung me with her words that are like electric needles. I had no choice but to stand still with my hands, feet, and even my brain tied together. I had to stand still in front of that repulsive face that was hysterically throwing a fit at me. I had to stand there like a fool without anything I could do.”

She continued, “This person did not give me time to understand the situation or even seek understanding from this person. This person didn’t even give me a chance to explain because she can’t hear anything. I’ve experienced all sorts of people in this field for 15 years. I thought I had experienced everything in life and thought I had let everything go, but I was wrong.”

Inside the Unrelenting Power of K-Pop: Your Guide to Everything From BTS and Beyond

Hwa did not mince words about her encounter with Irene, telling readers that “this person skipped the greeting and sat right down as this person began spewing insults at my face with her cellphone pointed at me. This person was so emotional that you couldn’t know if she’s talking to everyone in the room or just me. But either way, the target today was me.”

She noted that she “recorded everything” and also shared the thoughts

Read more

MARS Model of Individual Behavior and Results

Companies are striving to answer many questions in efforts to benefit from positive employee behavior in the workplace. The goal of most companies is to foster a win-win situation for both the company and associate. What is the difference between a happy satisfied employee and a disgruntled unmotivated employee? Is it how much money he or she makes, or the amount of time they spend on the job? Is it the work environment? Does the position meet the needs of the employee? Can the employee successfully perform? Does the employee know the role they play in their organization? Has the manager provided their employees with the required tools to be successful? In fact, there is a model of individual behavior that answers these questions quite well. The MARS model of Individual Behavior and Results introduced in chapter two of Organizational Behavior, 4th edition (McShane & Von Glinow) is an excellent medium for creating the win-win relationship between the employer and associate.

This model identifies four interrelated elements that have an affect on employee performance; Motivation, Ability, Role perception and Situational factors. These factors are highly interrelated; for example, a data analyst is skilled in running reports (ability), self taught on how to use the latest tools to extrapolate data (motivation), and understands how this information will help management make decisions (role perception), but does not have the required access to the data files (situational factors). Unless all of the elements of the MARS model are satisfied, employee behavior and performance will be negatively impacted.

A successful manager will possess a clear understanding of the abovementioned elements and be able to apply them. Motivation is the internal influence affecting employees’ actions. Employers must meet the intrinsic needs of associates to fully capitalize on the motivation element of this model. In order to accomplish the job, employees must have the necessary abilities. Managers are responsible for ensuring their employees receive the required training and skills to be successful. Another critical function of the ability element is to place employees in positions that will effectively utilize their talents. The third element of the MARS model is role-perception. Staff members must have a clear understanding of where they fit in the organization and how they contribute to the overall mission. Comprehensive job descriptions with clear expectations will aid the associate in understanding the role-perception element. The final element is Situational factors. Employees must have all of the required tools, equipment and work space to accomplish the job.

How does a manager adopt the MARS model? Starting with motivation, employers must have a good relationship with employees and discover the driving force behind their actions. One well known theory of motivation organizations must consider is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In the workplace Maslow’s hierarchy levels are satisfied as follows:

Level 1 – Physiological & Body – Good salary and safe working conditions.

Level 2 – Safety and Security – Job training programs and enrichment.

Level 3 – Social & Friends – Team building seminars and …

Read more

Unveiling Male Behavior: How Do Filipino Men Treat Filipina Women

How do Filipino men treat Filipina women? Like queens, princess and well, the senoritas that they are. Filipino men are affectionate and they like to express how they really feel. They grew up in a culture wherein respecting women go hand in hand with love. Filipino courtship, especially the traditional "ligaw", is a process where a man serenades the woman under her window, does household chores and cajoles her into a committed relationship.

Men will do anything for the object of their affection, sometimes, even if that means, making themselves look like complete fools. Filipina women liked to be treated like queens. During sunny days, the men would carry the umbrella for the women so that they don't get exposed to the sun's rays. Sometimes, the men also carry the women's heavy luggage. There are also times when the man would do chores around the woman's house. This practice was done way back a few decades ago. However, some men still practice it today.

Filipino men, when in love, tend to shower gifts to their women. They are romantic when they want to be. They pamper their women. A man overdoes the whole romantic thing. He showers her with flowers, chocolates, sends food over and takes her out on romantic places. If he's feeling really creative, he'd cook for her; they'd have candle-lit dinners and watch black and white movies.

How do Filipino men treat Filipina women? They treat them with velvet gloves. Filipino men adore and respect their women. Aside from doing chores for the woman's family as a form of courtship (pamamanhikan), men also accompany women wherever they go. They tail their women even when they go shopping. This is to make sure that the women are safe at all times.

A Filipino man becomes sweet and thoughtful when he is with the woman he loves. He introduces her to his family and friends, and he is proud of her. He makes sure that she knows how he really feels inside and that he's serious about their relationship. When it rains and she did bring a jacket, he would gladly offer his jacket to her. He writes her love letters and read poems that he has written himself. He remembers to pick her favorite cup of coffee during cold days.

In marriage, men tend to submit a bit to their wives because they respect them. For example, since men are the breadwinners, they give their wives their pay check. They do this because their wives are the ones in-charge of the home. The wives budget the money to fit the monthly needs of the family. Men also become more responsible once they get married.

Filipino men often treat their women like how they would their mom. This is not the I-care-for-you-because-you-remind-me-of-mom thing. They respect the woman they love, give her opinions and ideas importance, and care for her. Men make it a point to make their women feel like queens who deserve only the best in life. How …

Read more