When the deadly COVID-19 hit us, none of us was prepared for its consequences. The pandemic was unlike anything we had experienced or thought about. 

For this reason, it created an everlasting impact not only on our brains, but in our daily lives, and work as well. In fact, it altered the way most businesses operate. For instance, companies now have to stay digital in order to retain and find customers. They also have to offer the best customer service to stay ahead of the competition.

In this case, brands like Xfinity really take the lead. By offering its Xfinity Espanol service to Spanish users, the ISP makes sure it provides the best customer experience.

In this guide, we’ll explore the impact of COVID-19 on customer experience. Let’s dive in!

In-store Digital Technology

Consumer packaged goods firms, facing competition from online retailers, need to revamp the in-store experience to make shopping there easier and more worthwhile. Leading companies have moved quickly to innovate digital experiences to replace in-store ones as consumer interest in going digital surges. 

There has been a tepid uptick in foot traffic to stores as a result of the improving economic climate. This means brick-and-mortar stores will have to try out new layouts to accommodate contactless shopping solutions and keep customers from having to wait in congested areas.

Advanced queue management strategies, one-path shopping layouts, and queueless purchasing options for best-sellers have all been put to the test by major retailers. There are a number of formats being used to lessen the number of times a customer has to physically interact with a business, including frictionless solutions (like scan-and-go, click-and-collect, and drive-through checkouts) and buying/trying out kiosks. There have been closures in the athletic footwear (A&F) retail sector, but the industry as a whole has benefited from continued investments in technology. 

Some A&F firms have raised subscription prices for digital fitness programs and increased their content marketing efforts. Better customer engagement may be achieved through digital athlete training programs, leading to stores that are more conceptual and experiential.

Increase in Online Shopping

Having a strong online presence is now essential for CPG brands. Until recently, many small and medium-sized businesses did not make investments in eCommerce. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there has been a rising demand for eCommerce platforms as consumers move toward online channels. When it comes to essentials, leading grocery retailers prefer to streamline the app-based shopping experience to reduce online friction. 

One of the most convenient frictionless solutions for merchants and customers alike is curbside pickup. Some locations of a major sports retailer have been repurposed as fulfillment centers to handle online orders. Players in the food and beverage industry saw the change in consumer behavior and responded by establishing direct-to-consumer (D2C) online channels. In addition, CPG companies were increasingly disintermediating their sales representatives through B2B eCommerce portals, particularly in the midst of the pandemic.

In the business world, customers want the ability to place orders whenever and however they like. Nearly 75% of B2B buyers told Forrester in 2015 that making purchases via a website was more convenient and efficient than making purchases via a sales representative. If the same study were done in 2021, the percentage would almost certainly be higher. Many consumer-facing businesses would benefit greatly from increased digital adoption in the future.

Supply Chain Planning that Is both Dynamic and Agile

As people began stockpiling and production temporarily froze, inventory management became an issue during the lockdown. The rise of e-commerce, changes in consumer habits, supply chain disruptions, and an uncertain future have all led businesses to the conclusion that they must change their strategies. How can businesses take into account unexpected events like a pandemic when making their predictions? 

A more efficient strategy would be for retailers and manufacturers to work together more closely on-demand sensing, particularly in cases of anomalies. Furthermore, if businesses want to strengthen their sales, they must automate their sales processes and develop a digital setting in which to oversee their entire supply chain.

New Methods of Connecting with Clients

Even if people’s social isolation persists, bringing offline experiences online will keep them engaged with the brands they care about. The emphasis of consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies has been on digital marketing, but more effort needs to be put into utilizing new-age communication channels to create deeper engagement with consumers. 

Some social media sites have already helped consumer packaged goods companies get more traction than they would have with traditional marketing methods by personalizing their communication.

Final Words

Consumer behavior has changed in ways that many experts believe will be difficult to reverse as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But consumer-packaged-goods companies that adapt to the new market conditions and take advantage of emerging trends, such as agile supply chain planning and novel approaches to connecting with customers, will gain a competitive advantage.