Facebook has published a new report which looks at evolving consumer behaviors as a result of COVID-19, specifically focusing on 'mindful wellness' and increasingly conservative shopping habits due to the impacts.
As explained by Facebook:
"COVID-19 has increased people’s awareness of the importance of physical and mental health. As a result, consumers have adopted new habits to maintain their well-being and support those around them. From enjoying mini luxuries as a pick-me-up to helping their communities, people have been putting greater emphasis on individual and collective wellness."
The 20-page guide looks at how these trends are playing out, and what marketers need to know to better connect with people as considerations change.
The report first looks at the causes, and how the stresses of 2020 have prompted many to re-think how they spend their time and money.
As a result, more people are looking to hobbies and creative pursuits both as a means of relaxation and a form of entertainment in place of regular social events.
"This self-care has taken many different forms. Some people have turned to yoga, meditation and home exercise, while others have been embracing beauty rituals, video games and arts and crafts. At a time when mass working-from-home arrangements have blurred the boundaries between work and leisure, these new wellness routines are helping people carve out “me time” in their daily schedules."
That leads to new opportunities for brands to market to audiences based on these shifts, while Facebook also notes that 50% of consumers have "sought out small indulgences to treat themselves" as a means of dealing with the situation.
"As people come to equate spending on small indulgences with self-care, brands can cater to people seeking comfort by highlighting premium attributes. In the US, for example, during summer 2020, 49% of consumers said they were willing to pay more for high-quality products."
There's likely two wholly different audience impacts in this. For the people who are still able to work, and maintain their regular income, they would have a lot more discretionary income, because they're not able to spend that money on events, functions, holidays, etc. But they'll still be seeking an escape, which presents the opportunity noted here - while a whole other section of society is busy dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, and has far less income to spend.
It's important to consider which segment you're reaching, and to hone in your ad targeting as required to avoid missteps.
The latter category is highlighted in the second half of the report, which looks at how the downturn is causing a re-assessment of spending.
Again, these are two different market segments, which can make it difficult to map the right audience, but it's important to understand the significant variations in approach across your audience spectrum.
In addition to this, Facebook notes that consumers are also looking to buy from brands which support specific values or beliefs, an increasingly important consideration for younger shoppers.
Overall, there are some interesting notes and pointers, though much of it would be largely as you'd expect, given the circumstances.
The challenge really is in identifying the right audiences, and focusing your messaging onto each sector. Done right, you'll be able to optimize your approach to boost sales in Q4. Done wrong, and you could come across as insensitive to the situation.
It's a challenge, but the notes here provide some additional guidance as to how people are responding, which is worth factoring into your assessment.
You can download the full 'Mindful Wellness' report here.