In a study conducted in over 18 countries, Ernst & Young reported that 57 per cent of consumers polled indicated they pay more attention to how the products they buy will affect their health. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE

In a study conducted in over 18 countries, Ernst & Young reported that 57 per cent of consumers polled indicated they pay more attention to how the products they buy will affect their health. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE

IT’S YOUR BUSINESS: Pay attention to consumer behaviour trends


Special to The Record

COVID-19 will continue to impact marketing and communications certainly into 2021 and perhaps well beyond. It has dramatically changed the way many of us do business and forced us to adapt to this new reality.

While some sectors may, unfortunately, continue to struggle because of the nature of their business, you can help mitigate challenges to yours by paying attention to the way consumers’ behaviour has been changing. By being aware of how and why consumers are reacting to the so-called new normal can help formulate some key strategies that will help you to keep solvent and potentially grow your business.

Numerous research studies and papers indicate that one important aspect of consumer decision-making going forward is an emphasis on health and safety. In a study conducted in over 18 countries, Ernst & Young reported that 57 per cent indicated they pay more attention to how the products they buy will affect their health. In another study by KPMG, the results showed that personal safety is now one of the top three factors that drive a purchase.

This kind of information provides some clear direction for both online and in-person shopping as well as in the development of products or services that will enhance a person’s health.

On another level, there is a growing momentum for consumers to buy from and support local businesses. In the Ernst & Young study, 42 per cent of consumers indicated the way they shop will change, with 34 per cent indicating they would be willing to pay a little more for locally-sourced products.

With the growing reliance on social networking and digital interactions, there is increasing discussion about the need to create more human connection opportunities. By developing strategies that utilize your website and social networking platforms to create a more personalized human experience using virtual events and quality content such as video, you can develop a good rapport and show empathy with your customers.

According to an IPSOS report, 74 per cent of Canadians are making fewer trips to stores because of social distancing measures. To a great extent, this has caused a significant growth in alternative delivery opportunities for many businesses. With options such as curbside pick-up and door-to-door delivery, in some instances doubling in volume, it provides a significant opportunity for growth in these areas.

On a global scale, a report from Deloitte Insights identified a number of trends that every business should take into consideration. Their first observation was that flourishing brands will be those that fully understand why they exist and secondly have a good understanding of who they serve.

The above ties in with the growing need that customers want to be able to trust the companies they deal with, be able to communicate on a deeper more personal level and feel safe and confident in their interactions be they virtual or in person.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email

BusinessComox Valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

The CSRHD board has diverging views on its relationship with Island Health. File photo
Comox-Strathcona board ponders relationship with Island Health

“We have to stand together … to get our share of the health budget.”

The CVCDA Accessibility Project is creating safer ramps at the Courtenay facility. Photo supplied
Accessibility project underway at Comox Valley Child Development Association

Over the past month, you may have noticed some construction underway behind… Continue reading

19 Wing Comox’s Wing Auxiliary Security Force (WASF) will be conducting training at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Comox and the Department of National Defence Seal Bay training area from April 12-16. Black Press file photo
19 Wing training set for April at Seal Bay, CFB Comox

Members of the public may see an increase in activity at locations in the Valley

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Most Read