The pandemic was a driving force in necessitating individuals to stay at home. However, some of those habits initially borne out of caution have become permanent fixtures. One of the most drastic changes that resulted from people spending more time at home was a dramatic increase in online shopping, referred to as the homebody economy. Even as many employees return to the office and partake in activities outside the home, individuals continue to stay home more than they did before the pandemic.
The homebody economy, the new habit of consumers of doing more of their activities from home, including shopping and working, has created fundamental differences in consumer behaviors. In particular, consumer spending patterns have changed, as well as what consumers value and their expectations. This shift in consumer habits is an opportunity for small businesses to demonstrate their convenience and commitment to customer service. They can do this by providing value, simple ordering, and easy-to-access customer service. You can depend on your Safeguard Advisor to keep you inspired and informed on ways to sell more while further enhancing customer relationships.
How can small businesses prepare for the homebody economy?
Customers frequently choose small businesses for their personalized interactions and extensive knowledge of customers’ needs. These small businesses can prepare for the homebody economy by simplifying and enhancing the shopping experience by offering curbside pickup, online ordering enabling online appointments and reservations, and providing easy-to-access customer service.
The Need to Provide Value to Customers
With customer experience being a critical differentiating factor in a customer’s decision-making process, now more than ever, value isn’t only defined by the price. Still, it is often tied to an organization’s ability to provide customers with a positive customer experience throughout the buyer journey and even after their purchase.
As a result of the homebody economy, many customers are investing in new hobbies such as baking, gardening, and home improvement. Small businesses can take advantage of this trend by providing additional value to their customers, demonstrating how a particular product might solve a problem, and then supporting customers with help and advice. Businesses can ensure their websites and social media pages provide customers with the information they are searching for. Companies should also consider creating videos as another tool for engaging, educating, and entertaining customers.
These efforts to stay engaged with customers and provide genuine advice can lead to repeat purchases and increased customer loyalty. The experts at Safeguard can help you create engaging, effective social media content that delivers value to customers.
Working to Improve the Ordering Experience
For many customers, the purchase experience is just as necessary as the product or service. For customers ordering online, a business’s website may be the first touchpoint that customer has with your brand. To provide a positive experience, a good website needs to be easy to use and allow customers to find what they are looking for quickly. That often translates to websites with intuitive navigation, relevant content, fast page load times, and mobile responsiveness.
Another aspect of the customer ordering experience is product availability and shipping delays. Ongoing supply chain shortages have often meant consumers could not find their preferred products, whether online or in stores. This led to some consumers switching between brands or retailers searching for item availability. Businesses can help customers and improve the ordering experience by taking proactive steps, such as early planning or ordering more inventory than usual, to provide the items customers want when they want them.
Offering Easy-to-Access Customer Service
Offering outstanding customer service has always been an essential aspect for small businesses. But, with today’s homebody economy, customers expect to be able to quickly and easily reach out across a variety of channels to connect with a customer service representative. While some customers prefer to use an FAQ webpage or online help center, others may want to speak with a real person.
While not every company can offer round-the-clock, live customer service support, businesses of all sizes can better serve their customers. Make it easy to access customer service by prominently posting contact information like phone numbers, email addresses, and customer service hours on your website, business cards, or even receipts. Try to ensure customers can conveniently access customer service across various platforms.
As customers became accustomed to the homebody economy, they also realized its benefits. With a continued desire from consumers to spend more time at home, small businesses can seize the opportunity to enhance the buying experience. You can rely on your Safeguard Advisor for the right products, services, and ideas to help you connect with customers and stay competitive. Call 855.778.3124 to get started.
- The homebody economy is the new habit of consumers of doing more of their activities from home, including shopping and working.
- The homebody economy has created fundamental differences in spending patterns and expectations.
- Small businesses can prepare for the homebody economy by simplifying and enhancing their online shopping experience.
- Businesses can make the most of the homebody economy by providing value, simple ordering, and easy-to-access customer service.