LOCKDOWN: How customer behaviours have changed and the opportunity for mail

LOCKDOWN: How customer behaviours have changed and the opportunity for mail

Over the past year, we have experienced the Covid-19 pandemic and multiple national lockdowns. Never in recent decades have we experienced an event that required the majority of the population to change behaviour so significantly and in such a short period of time.

Economists and thought-leaders had predicted change over the next decade, but lockdown has accelerated this beyond any prediction so far; the increased adoption of technology, the seismic shift to online consumption and the increasing demand for brands to demonstrate purpose-led agendas that go beyond profit. We have seen fundamental changes in consumer behaviour; some short-term but much with an ongoing impact.

Firstly, as consumers, our mindsets have changed. We are reassessing how we live our lives, what we value and the things we love and care about. Secondly, a trend we don’t forecast disappearing, is we are all spending significantly more time at home. This presents a huge opportunity for mail to reclaim a worthy proportion of media spend.

Starcount is a data company which reveals what customers care about to allow brands to tap into these drivers to connect emotionally and predict future behaviour. When a brand resonates with a consumer’s interests and values, that brand becomes the customer’s first choice. So, as we emerge from the turbulence, brands will need to re-establish and re-discover their customer’s needs, values and mindsets.

Marketing is the key to building economic recovery. Brands must communicate better than ever before; and go the extra mile to understand how their customers have changed and how they as a brand should respond and communicate.

Starcount provides a powerful and data-rich perspective on how UK consumers have changed over lockdown. These insights quantify these changes by exploring the behaviours of 30 million consumers. These insights are looking forwards, not backwards.

Starcount’s market-leading, proprietary service is able to connect this rich insight:

  • to customers, in a fully GDPR compliant way, providing brands with an up-to-date read of what their customers value, including their mindsets and emotional drivers of behaviour.
  • to postcodes, creating a new targeting solution that can be used in the mailing industry to help find the customers that care.

To bring this to life, on the next page are three of the biggest trends we have seen from Starcount’s data over the past year and how our postcode data can help find the customers that care.

The Rise of Purpose

Most brands have felt the impact this year in sales, and never has it been more important for marketing teams to ensure they adapt, speak to customers in the right way and reflect these new customer mindsets in order to re-engage existing customers and communicate their proposition for new audiences.
We believe Starcount data combined with the mailing channel is a leading offering to achieve these goals. Now is the time to be bold and re-invent. Brands need to be relevant for the new way we live our lives.

The fastest-growing mindset in the UK is that 15% of the population now engages with a cause. We are increasingly united by care for Our Planet, Our People and Our Health. With a global economic recession ahead, our health threatened, the biggest racial justice movement since the 1960s in #BlackLivesMatter and our climate emergency, consumers are no longer just expecting the government and society to make a change and stand for a purpose but also the brands we buy from.

We see a shift away from traditional charitable giving to specific organisations and more engaging with causes and movements. However, the charities that have seen the most growth this year are:

Nature and wildlife charities grew by 5.9% as more Brits spend time in the countryside.

Age charities have grown by 4.1% as we worry about the country’s older demographic during this difficult time.

Mental health and domestic violence charities have grown 5.6% as more of us struggle with the impact of lockdown.

In London more specifically, there was a huge spike in following local food banks as many people became aware of the impact the lockdown had on lower-income households. This heat map shows where in London consumers who are engaging with food banks live.

Food Trends

Hospitality has been one of the hardest industries hit, with restaurants seeing a decline of 40.7% and pubs and bars seeing a decline of 36.7% throughout the year. So how have consumers adapted? We have seen huge growth of 62.4% for deliveries and takeaway brands, an increase in meal subscription boxes and many of us have taken up an interest in cooking, baking and healthy eating. There has also been a huge rise in vegan and vegetarian food for environmental, health and animal welfare agendas.

Brighton is one of the highest engaged areas with veganism and vegetarianism. The UK has seen 4.9% growth in those of us going meat-free.

Home Improvement

As most of us are spending more time at home than we ever have before, there has been a substantial increase in our spend and interest in DIY, home improvements, furniture retail and gardening. Many of us have been motivated to spruce up our surroundings with the expectation that our time at home will continue. After non-essential shops opened in June, spending at home improvement and DIY stores surged, driving an overall growth of 9.8% year-on-year.

Where are consumers who love Interior Design VS those who love DIY.