Customer journeys may have changed quickly as the Covid-19 crisis has spread through consumer culture, but have our shopping habits changed for good?
Marks & Spencer CEO Steve Rowe believes they might have. “Whilst some customer habits will return to normal, others have changed forever,” he said at the retailer’s full year results presentation earlier this month (20 May).
“The trend towards digital has been accelerated and changes to the shape of the high street brought forward.”
But the changes don’t stop there. According to an exclusive survey of 477 UK brand marketers, conducted by Marketing Week and sister title Econsultancy, more than half say the pandemic has caused ‘radical’ or ‘significant’ change to customer journeys. Just 19% of marketers have seen no change at all.
The study also found companies large and small are experiencing similar levels of change, although B2C marketers are seeing more dramatic shifts than their B2B counterparts. And the changes – including the consumer shift online – have exposed gaps in the customer experience.
In a bid to get a grip on customer journeys in the socially distanced age, brands are finding innovative solutions to make purchase possible. Asda, for example, is trialling a virtual queuing system at its branch in Middleton, Leeds.