Consumer Habits Shift to Online Purchasing
COVID-19 affected most aspects of the retail industry.
The pandemic forced retailers to adapt with increased home delivery, online purchases, curbside pickups and safety precautions for their workers and consumers.
“I’ve been in retail for more than 30 years, and I have never seen such a revolution in the retail industry,” said Mitch Gould, founder and CEO of Nutritional Products International, a global brand management firm based in Boca Raton, Fl. “Consumers and retailers adapted very quickly.”
Gould said that retailers have to tailor their buyers’ journey to the needs and wants of consumers in the future.
“We know that consumers shifted to online buying for all types of products, including products that they used to buy only in person,” Gould said. “However, now as the economy has reopened and is unlikely to close again, retailers will have to work hard to keep their customers happy.”
Gould said McKinsey recently reported on “consumer sentiment” during the health crisis.
“Fifty percent of U.S. consumers plan to splurge on themselves,” Gould said, adding that “higher-income millennials” intend to spend the most. “Retailers are also going to deal with how the coronavirus has affected different demographics.”
McKinsey reported that “vaccinated” consumers are more likely to shop in brick-and-mortar stores than those who plan to get vaccinated.
“The younger generation will be more willing to spend and go out as more of them get vaccinated in contrast to baby boomers who are less likely to spend discretionary funds,” he said.
“Retailers will also have to decide how to serve consumers who are unlikely to be vaccinated,” Gould said. “You already see restaurants, entertainment venues, and many businesses requiring proof of vaccination from their consumers and employees.”
COVID-19 also changed consumers’ buying habits regarding brand loyalty.
“Forty percent of consumers who changed their shopping behavior have changed brands,” Gould said, adding that this trend allows new products to reach more consumers.
McKinsey also reported that consumers “intend to continue with many digital behaviors even after COVID-19 subsides.”
Gould said retailers will still need to address COVID-19 concerns and keep many popular innovations, such as curbside pickups, in place.
“All these trends mean that retailers need to have a robust and enjoyable e-commerce experience for today’s consumers,” Gould said. “The retailers will also need to maintain many of the health protocols they put in place to protect their workers and consumers.”
Gould works with health and wellness brands that plan to launch their products in the U.S.
“The companies I work with realize they need a strong online presence,” Gould said. “They also realize that consumers are more willing to try new brands and products. Retailers are going to have to work extra hard to keep customers.”
Gould’s company, NPI, provides sales, logistics, regulatory expertise, and marketing services as part of a one-stop, turnkey platform called the “Evolution of Distribution.”
“I developed the ‘Evolution of Distribution’ to make it easy and cost-effective for brands entering the U.S. market,” Gould said. “NPI streamlines the process and emphasizes speed to market.”
Gould’s expertise in online sales dates back to the early 2000s when he was part of a ‘Powerhouse Trifecta’ that placed more than 100 brands and even more products onto the virtual shelves on Amazon’s new health and wellness category.
Gould and Kenneth E. Collins, who was VP of operations for Muscle Foods, one of the largest sports nutrition distributors in the world, worked with Jeff Fernandez, a buyer on the Amazon team stocking the new category with products.
“The three of us complimented each other,” Gould said, adding that he eventually hired Fernandez, who now is president of NPI.
For more information, visit Nutritional Products International online.
MORE ON NPI AND ITS FOUNDER
NPI is a privately-held company specializing in the retail distribution of nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, functional beverages, and skincare products. NPI offers a unique, proven approach for product manufacturers worldwide seeking to launch or expand their products’ distribution in the U.S. retail market.
Mitch Gould, founder and CEO of NPI, is a third-generation retail distribution and manufacturing professional. Gould developed the “Evolution of Distribution” platform, which provides domestic and international product manufacturers with the sales, marketing, and product distribution expertise required to succeed in the world’s largest market — the United States. Gould, known as a global marketing guru, also has represented icons from the sports and entertainment worlds such as Steven Seagal, Hulk Hogan, Ronnie Coleman, Roberto Clemente Jr., Chuck Liddell, and Wayne Gretzky.