Monday, June 22, 2020

COVID-19 and Why It’s Driving the Need to Pivot: A Snapshot Research Report

Sarah Strauss
Data

Rightpoint has developed new research that highlights how to successfully pivot to experiences, products, and services that deliver on the changing expectations of consumers and employees.

Why We Created This Research

The post-coronavirus world will continue to change everything. Those changes will impact the way consumers interact with brands, the way brands allocate budgets, and even the way we use physical spaces. Before we can begin to understand the new normal we’ll all be facing, we must first understand the factors influencing these developments. 

We believe that listening is essential. It’s the only way to create exceptional experiences. This report is an example of listening in action. We saw a need for information and data related to shifting consumer attitudes and behaviors, so we conducted initial market research to uncover and understand not only what is happening, but why it’s happening. 

This snapshot research report is intended to provide our customers, peers, and others with the information and guidance they need to successfully pivot to experiences, products, and services that deliver on the changing expectations of consumers and employees.

Research Methodology

We surveyed 275 executive leaders and 500 US consumers between May 26th and 30th, 2020 to understand their behavior changes, motivations, and expectations for future interactions.

Three Key Takeaways and Recommendations for Businesses to Consider when Pivoting Their Strategies  

1. Invest in digital services, including emerging technology 

2. Establish and execute a digital workplace strategy

3. Listen to your consumers 

Key Insights and Supporting Data Points | Macro Trends

Four macro trends represent behavior shifts taking place across industries, user groups, and in corporate interactions with consumers and employees.

1. The lines between work and home have been blurred forever 

a. 30% of employees expect to continue working from home following the crisis

b. 40% average increase in the US workday 

2. The role of physical spaces has changed dramatically

a. As a result of new ways to engage with products and services, eCommerce has grown 15x from January to March 2020. 

b. 87% of shoppers have a preference for stores with touch-less or robust self-checkout options.

3. Control has become a high consumer priority 

a. 51% of consumers say their number one factor for choosing a brand will be the brand that best fits their new needs.

b. There is a heightened desire for self-service as a result of stay-at-home orders.

4. Virtual connections have become part of everyday life

a. 50% increase in number of regular (non-COVID-19 related) doctor visits completed via telehealth in March 2020.

b. 73% increase in conference registrations for those who have moved to digital hosting.

Key Insights and Supporting Data Points | Employee Insights

Focused on three key areas of the employee/employer relationship and business operations as a whole.

 

1. Productivity and connection at home 

a. Nearly half of respondents have seen negative impacts to productivity since the start of the crisis, but more than ⅓ have also seen increases in productivity.

b. A gap appeared between the perceived importance of connectivity and tools--to facilitate work and provide a sense of community: 98% of executives agree that a digital workplace strategy is important, but only 56% are actually executing one. 

c. Although nearly 80% of employees reported feeling burned out and stressed, 63% are more interested in working from home than previously. 

2. Shifting priorities 

a. Digital innovation is a priority with more than 75% of respondents planning to prioritize digital innovation in key areas like augmented and virtual reality following the crisis. 

b. The biggest increases in spend reported were in digital properties, an expected change given the surge in the importance of digital interactions for consumers.

3. Talent strategies 

a. The success many organizations are having with remote workforces’ highlights opportunities to expand talent acquisition strategies to include remote employees. Nearly 50% of executives are planning to add remote roles to a previously on-site workforce. 

b. There is confusion around what physical office spaces will look like post-COVID: 67% of respondents report that they will change their physical spaces, but 62% of them don’t know what exactly will change yet. 

Key Insights and Supporting Data Points | Consumer Insights

Consumer behavior is changing every day as we adapt to this new normal. Three emergent themes that leaders need to consider when making decisions for their organizations.

1. Work from home is here to stay

a. Despite the burnout reported by many, more than 60% of employed respondents still expressed interest in working from home after COVID-19, and nearly 90% give their employers a passing grade on the amount of support they’ve offered.

2. Digital service usage is on the rise

a. Unsurprisingly, more than 50% of Millennial and Gen-Z respondents said that, on average, they have used more digital services and have used them more frequently in the past few months. Older generations, however, have not been adopting new technology during this period. 

b. The two digital service categories that people are most interested in continuing to use are digital banking and social media.

3. Younger generations feel the impact the most 

a. Stress and anxiety due to COVID-19 appears to impact younger generations more.

 

Download the full report to access all the findings and recommendations for business leaders.

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