Brooks Bell Study Reveals There Is No “One-Size-Fits-All” Approach to Consumer Experience in a Post-Covid World

Brooks Bell, the technology-enabled firm dedicated to helping global brands build remarkable customer experiences through conversion rate optimization and personalization, released its latest research-driven report, “New Normals in Retail, Travel and Financial Services: Consumer Sentiment Beyond 2020.” This report provides business decision makers with data-driven insights necessary to inform experimentation and personalization efforts that lead to satisfying customer experiences in this new era of commerce.

For many consumers, a return to ‘normal’ may not happen so fast, if at all. Newer methods of shopping like curbside pickup and home delivery have exploded, and safety underpins consumer decision-making for everything from travel to banking.

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“From retail shoppers that have fallen in love with flexible delivery options, travelers that now prioritize safety alongside price, and traditional banking customers now moving online — new cohorts of shoppers are emerging,” said Suzi Tripp, VP of Insights at Brooks Bell. “At the same time, we’re seeing there’s no “one size fits all” approach to the future behavior of consumers, making experimentation and personalization crucial to being able to meet customer expectations in this ever-changing environment.”

Brooks Bell surveyed more than 700 U.S. consumers who shared their plans for travel, shopping and banking when pandemic restrictions are lifted completely. Key findings from the report include:

  • The pandemic didn’t stifle the desire to shop in store, but curbside is here to stay: According to the report, a third of respondents said they shopped the same amount or more in-person during the pandemic and 76% plan to make in-store purchases post-COVID restrictions. One-time substitutes like Buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS), delivery and curbside are now expected, with 34% of consumers planning to continue curbside pickup.
  • 70% of Americans are eager to travel, with Millennials most ready: Half of respondents said the virus will affect travel decision-making for up to a year, and a significant 20% said safety will be a consideration in travel indefinitely. Interestingly, 17% said the pandemic had no impact on travel whatsoever. However, one thing hasn’t changed — both before and after COVID restrictions, the biggest travel consideration was price.
  • In-person banking will nearly double from pre-pandemic levels, but online communication with banks during COVID left an impact: Surprisingly, online communication took the top spot for the 56-74 and the over 74 age groups during the pandemic, challenging the stereotype of the over 74 crowd refusing to use an online experience. While going back into a bank is important to many consumers, the idea of a human teller is less popular — there was an 8-point drop to 38% of Americans that prefer face-to-face time with a teller post-pandemic.

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