Without a doubt, all of humanity is living in complex times in many ways, and even with all this scenario, it is up to us to continue creating a new scenario where we can give space to many issues that strengthen us and make us more resilient.
At the beginning of the year, I had the opportunity to attend the NRF, the largest retail event in the world where we hear the trends that will be manifested in the United States, mainly. I was very curious about this event, because who could predict what will be happening in 2021? And here is what is most relevant from my perspective and what I want to focus on after listening to multiple personalities in the industry, and that is the concept of “simplifying the complex”.
The next normal
I think it is very important for business leaders to look to the future, but they must do so with caution in order to move forward without creating more anxiety in their teams. Anxiety was at the center of the whole NRF story, there was a lot of talk about the new consumers and what they called “The next normal” which is this post-pandemic world. Very well placed term, because it is not the new normal, but the next normal of so many more to come.
The new post-pandemic consumer
Consumers have been divided into two main quadrants: the forward-thinking and the romantic. The predictors seek stability, they live or have lived through the pandemic so latently that they feel guilty about shopping, they live in a daze from trying to deal with so many things at once within the household (work, kids, home care, health) a whole world ‘talking’ how they must live and feel to survive the chaos. They are looking for a hassle-free shopping experience, smart gadgets that make everyday life easier, shopping signatures, delivery guarantees, security, in short, they want to feel immediate satisfaction with their shopping choices and be those with purpose.
On the other hand, we have the romantics, who have a keen sense of belonging, they seek to feel again, they want to belong to the world, to situations, to the community. They are looking for sustainable and eco-friendly products, solutions that relieve stress and anxiety, that make them feel something again.
When we look at these new consumers, we can’t help but look at how we see ourselves, which group do we most identify with? Maybe we are a mix of both.
The industry is looking for agility
All brands and companies that are dedicated to the generation of Sales and Marketing strategies are facing a great opportunity to create multiple scenarios to innovate. The market is looking for agility and expects innovation, integration of the physical and online environments, speed of response, deep knowledge about products and services, new product delivery methodologies and many more factors that motivate conversion and loyalty to a product or brand.
Back to basics
Undoubtedly, the first line to meet all this demand is not technology, not data, but our human talent. We must look inside the company and be aware that our first customer is our own team, since they are the ones who deliver the experience and message of our brand. Our team needs solid foundations, to be trained and equipped with all the tools (physical and digital) to be able to carry out any strategy smoothly.
Let’s consider that, in the midst of so much technology and change, we must prioritize service before product. In my opinion, the best shopping experience we know is that of the neighborhood store or small store, where you arrive and are greeted by name, where you are asked about your family and your pet, and where they deliver the product you need. At the end of the day, without a lot of resources and without a lot of depth, it ensures the most personalized experience you can have.
With all this, my recommendation goes towards simplifying the complex, studying constantly and being updated on new trends to adapt them to our needs, but, ensuring the basics of your process. Work on empowering your team’s experience, relieve their anxiety, empower them, have all the information that works for you, create a CRM and adequate communication channels for your customers, use all the tools to improve the shopping experience, and bring all this, as much as possible, to the simplicity of the “neighborhood store” and moving at a steady pace to be able to succeed in this ‘next normality’.