Personalized Marketing Key To Post-COVID Consumer

Although consumers are confident in the safety, effectiveness, and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines and have a desire to return to 'normalcy' after being vaccinated, different rules, personal preferences, and social norms formed during the last year mean that key industries like retail may need to provide more seamless, personalized marketing and client experiences to help remain competitive and successfully engage customers, says a study by IBM's Institute for Business Value (IBV). The study found most people are confident in the safety, effectiveness, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and more than half expect the COVID-19 vaccine to keep them protected. Economic progress can happen gradually, however, as most respondents surveyed indicated that vaccination levels will need to exceed 70 per cent in order for them to feel comfortable returning to life as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. If current COVID-19 vaccine rollout rates continue, it purports that most people may not regain pre-COVID-19 pandemic comfort levels until well into 2022. Amidst this uncertainty, consumers are rethinking the way they want to work, socialize, travel, and shop. "Habits formed during the COVID-19 pandemic have raised consumers' expectations of digital engagement, especially in service industries like retail," says Jesus Mantas, senior managing partner, IBM Global Business Services. "As we anticipate the 'post-COVID-19 pandemic normal,' businesses should accelerate their digital evolution with AI- and cloud-based solutions to help remain competitive. Investing in hybrid physical and digital experiences can help provide a more personalized experience." The survey shows most global consumers surveyed are ready to return to malls and shopping centres once vaccinated. However, at least one in five respondents say they plan to continue shopping primarily online once vaccinated. However, they expect to buy items in-store much more often.