Navigating the post-crisis world
lg2 partnered with Léger to publish a 3-phase study that highlights the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on Canadian consumers’ behaviours.
For the third and final report, the data gives us an understanding of the repercussions and forces that will continue to define consumer behaviours beyond the crisis. In light of these results, our experts at lg2 share how they see the “new normal” and the various challenges Canadian businesses will be forced to respond to.
Our goal: To offer you a nuanced and timely portrait to help you navigate the post-crisis era and to capitalize on the emerging opportunities.
From hedonist to activist consumerism: The growing phenomenon of the conscious consumer.
The study reveals that the pandemic has crystallized a trend that was already evident: The consumer is increasingly aware that the act of buying can also be a gesture of activism. The expectations placed on brands are now higher than ever and the consumer expects them to create a positive impact locally, socially and environmentally. Brands must give consumers a responsible reason, in line with their own values, to choose them.
The opportunity is thus to redefine the role of creativity within these new paradigms. Not so long ago, communications were required to only tell brand, product or service stories. Today, a brand must create stories that are anchored in its values and commitments. Creativity has become a tool to create not just impact but also consistency across diverse areas at a much deeper level: business strategy, public relations, editorial lines, growth strategy, customer experience, employer brand, citizen engagement. As such, creativity can help create social value for your brand much more broadly.
— Marc Fortin, Partner, Head of Product, lg2
Digital at the core of the customer experience.
The growing pressure to offer an online shopping experience comes with a major operational challenge for many brands, with friction due to e-commerce activity occurring at all levels of a company. The question is no longer whether a brand has an e-commerce presence, but rather, whether it is capable of meeting demand and offering a best-in-class experience: personalized recommendations, exclusive offers, product demos, quick delivery, easy returns, attentive customer service, etc. All these aspects have become more important. Consumers’ expectations from a digital standpoint are no longer the same.
The relationship between the online shopping experience and the in-store experience will be forced to change, becoming more integrated and synergistic. Digital will play a key role in the customer’s experience while the physical store will offer more high-touch services such as consultations with an expert or trials of products that are not as easily experienced in an online environment. The store, previously organized around shopping and transactions, will now focus more on product demonstrations and customer service. This will involve, for example, smaller physical spaces, fewer but more qualified employees on the floor, no more in-store payments (with all billing done through the customer’s online account), etc. In short, preparing for tomorrow’s experience is critical in times like this. Those who succeed will stand out and acquire new loyal customers.
— Louis-Philippe Favreau, Partner, Vice-President, Consulting and Technology, Digital Experience, lg2
Data’s potential in the era of artificial intelligence.
In the era of AI, the ability to leverage data to improve and enrich the user, and even human, experience unlocks tremendous potential for a brand that goes beyond hyper-personalization.
However, we are also living in an era when there is greater sensitivity regarding privacy rights. With instances of misuse of data by the major platforms (notably Facebook in 2016, TikTok today, etc.), concerns associated with personal information will also rise in tandem.
Moreover, with greater restrictions placed on advertisers concerning behavioural data, consent between a brand and its consumers becomes critical, especially in a world of personalized experience. Brands will have to be very adept at giving a reason to obtain consent and must think about the way in which they return control to their users. Transparency and the ability to manage one’s own data will be a differentiating element for brands that interact with their consumers primarily online.
— Anne-Marie Castonguay, Vice-President, Data & Intelligence, lg2
Want to dive deeper?
This document is an excerpt from a more comprehensive report produced as part of the study.
Ready to push your thinking further and discuss the possible transformational paths your business might take?
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