Gravy Analytics Founder and CEO Jeff White discusses consumer behavior change in a post-COVID world and how we can plan for the emergence of a new economy.
By: Jeff White, Gravy Analytics Founder & CEO
This week, I returned to the office for the first time in more than a month. There were just two or three others in the entire office with me, leaving plenty of space for “social distancing”. I even hit the office gym — alone, of course — for an early morning workout. It felt good, even if just for a few hours, to be back into something like my old, pre-COVID-19 routine. For twenty years, I’ve lived on morning workouts, on constant activity, on after-work happy hours with colleagues and friends. Suffice to say, the last few months have been an adjustment.
As ready as I am for the world to get back to normal, I can’t speak for all of the team. There are a few people like me in the office who need a bit of normalcy, but the majority are working from home. Given current social distancing recommendations and the size of our office, they most likely will be for some time. The team is doing some really innovative stuff, too, so remote work might even be here for a while. They all have their reasons for staying put: some have family members with health concerns, some have childcare responsibilities, and others are waiting for the experts to give the green light. There may even be a few that like solitude.
CONSUMERS (AND THEIR BEHAVIOR) IN A STATE OF CHANGE
That got me thinking: what’s happening here at Gravy is, in a small way, a microcosm of what’s happening in the real world. With no surefire approach or best practices — no one-size-fits-all plan — we’re all doing what works for us, within reason. For people like me, that means getting back in the action and taking the necessary precautions. For others, it’s staying in a sort of quarantine. I suppose that most will find some happy medium – creating a “pod” with extended family or neighbors, venturing out for a weekend hike or beach getaway. We’re still figuring out what works for us, our family and friends. We are lucky to have the choice. We’re all adjusting and will be for a while.
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Businesses are also adjusting. Over the last many weeks, long-established, global retail, hospitality and entertainment brands watched as up to 90% of their customers disappeared. As of May 27th, Macy’s had 81% and Hilton 62% fewer customers or guests visiting their locations. Walt Disney World and Six Flags closed their parks for months, and have recently announced their reopening plans. In the past few months, many businesses furloughed or laid off employees. At the same time, American ingenuity continues to be on full display. Folks have stood up online storefronts and social media campaigns. Curbside service has become the standard. Zoom is ubiquitous. It remains to be seen how quickly established brands win their customers back, and how many digital upstarts turn new customers into repeat buyers. The economy is showing signs of life, but consumer behavior remains in a state of change.
PLANNING FOR A NEW ECONOMY
To that end, we’re introducing Gravy Navigate, an analytics suite designed to help businesses accelerate out of lockdown as the economy reopens. Built on mobile location data, Gravy Navigate reconnects businesses with their former customers and helps them find and reach more like them. It’s an actionable toolkit that gives businesses better insight into their business and industry. It helps companies understand their customers, how they have changed, and how they will continue to change. Businesses can redefine who their customers are, plan more effective digital marketing campaigns, find new partnerships, and adjust as needed. You can learn more about Gravy Navigate here.
So get ready for what comes next: we’re entering a new economy, and plenty more change is ahead.
To learn about how consumer behavior changes have affected your business, explore Gravy Navigate today.