As marketers adjust to a new, extraordinary reality, Go Inspire Insight has collated early evidence and insight on emerging customer behaviour patterns to support the recalibration of CRM. This paper is the first in a series from the marketing and communications specialist, offering guidance on managing the customer journey in light of these behavioural changes.
The long-term effects of the Covid-19 crisis are uncertain but for now it is clear that our shopping habits have changed radically, and will continue to evolve in the near future. Marketers must assess these changes as a matter of urgency, to be able to build robust strategies for business success in ‘new normal’ conditions.
To gain a concrete perspective of the changes taking place, Go Inspire Insight collaborated with a selection of clients during March and April 2020 to analyse the changing behaviour of 5m customers. In each case, the client company is a multichannel business that temporarily closed its physical stores. The analysis produced invaluable insights with immediate practical use for marketing activity.
For instance, while traditional ‘sales’ emails had a lower open and click-through rate, mails with editorial content only (e.g. how to enjoy your garden) nevertheless had a four-fold increase in click-through rates, causing a sales spike in the products featured. This data makes it clear that businesses cannot simply revert back to their usual strategies without analysing the new state of play. In fact, a lack of smart analysis could be detrimental to recovery, as opportunities are likely to go unnoticed.
On the basis of its findings, Go Inspire Insight identified seven broad groups characterising new behavioural profiles, from in-store customers who didn’t transition to online spending (‘Trial Separation’) to chance visitors who have the potential to become long-term customers (Chance Lovers). Though each company must conduct its own bespoke analysis, these categories are a highly useful starting point for retail and e-commerce organisations, providing a basis for tailored loyalty strategies and smart investment of marketing resources.
Beth Powell, managing director at Go Inspire Insight, said: “We’re seeing customers behave very differently – existing customers are not responding to marketing interactions as they used to before the pandemic, and new customers are finding brands virtually that they might otherwise have missed. In this climate, making assumptions is risky and our study really illustrates this point. Businesses must produce new customer nurture plans and these will need frequent reviews in the coming months, as stores re-open and circumstances evolve. Our post-pandemic profiling series is a stepping stone for this unexpected journey.”