Consumer Experiences During Covid-19
By Maryam Farooq & Fatima Khan
Covid-19 has completely changed the consumer lives around the world. It has created such an environment for the people which has affected their lives in both positive and negative ways. It will be right to say that it has completely reshaped consumer experiences. However, many businesses in Pakistan have adopted new market trends and tried to give the same experience to consumers. Giving real-time experiences to consumers during covid-19 was considered to be one of the most challenging tasks for companies. But with the passage of time, many companies have adopted this and came up with new approaches that helped them to increase their sales.
Talking about the food sector, McDonald’s was the only restaurant that had their kitchen tours open for their customers. The main motive behind conducting this activity was customers visiting their kitchen for free to see how their chefs and staff are taking precautionary and safety measures during Covid-19. This real-time activity gave an experience to the consumers to know more about Mcdonalds quality and safety standards. Another activity performed by Mcdonalds during the initial stages of the pandemic was releasing an advertisement, which showed the new delivery approach that they planned to implement to strictly adhere to their SOP’s. Moreover, that particular advertisement showed how their delivery boy sanitized himself before and after delivering the food, giving the chance to the consumer to collect their food by themselves from the riders bag and also promoted social distancing through different campaigns. Mcdonald’s was rather quick in its approach and planning to tackle the situation and adjust itself to the change coming their way. This activity alone increased the customer satisfaction level towards Mcdonalds. On the other hand, Foodpanda, KFC, Pizza Hut were observed to not take the change easy as they stopped delivering their food after lockdown. Due to this reason, all of these restaurants have faced a decline in their sales as compared to Mcdonalds.
In the retail sector, Metro Cash & Carry had organized an electronics wedding gala during Covid-19 in which they gave the chance to the consumers to purchase a product and become a part of their lucky draw, staying at home. Every individual customer who participated in their wedding gala got a chance to win a free gift of up to 30% off. As digitalization increased in the times of pandemic, many companies tried to give digital experiences to their customers in order to retain them. Bagallery is another example of success during these tough times. It is an online store that includes women clothing, menswear and cosmetics. They launched their online reward program to make the customers shopping experience more interesting and rewarding. Their reward program suggested their consumers to spend pkr 1 for which the customer redeemed certain points. The more the customer spends the greater rewards points they would get, which helped them to become eligible for different tiers that they were offering. These tiers were formed on the basis of reward points and how a consumer can utilize them. This activity helped many consumers to shop online with their ease as well as experiencing different benefits against this.
Furthermore, well known retailers like D-Watson and Shaheen were also seen to adapt to the change. They form a joint venture with transport businesses like Careem, Uber, Bykea, etc to deliver their products by offering home delivery. Several ad campaigns were run by these businesses to promote the idea of staying home and staying safe. One of these was launched by Careem where its slogan said “Need eggs and bread for breakfast? We will get them for you. Book now!” This idea alone was relieving for many customers, staying home for safety purposes. Apart from that, this also built an emotional understanding and trust between businesses and their consumers. Many businesses which were operational during the pandemic were observed to step up and donate to the people in need as well. This included the parent company of Dawlance, Oppo, Telenor and EBM donating to the PM Covid-19 Fund Campaign.
The above examples of brands in pakistan are the very examples of successful businesses that follow a proper marketing plan and adapt to changes easily. In times of lockdown when everything was shut down and there was no hope for carrying out business, many competitive brands took the first step towards the change and went as far as changing their business plans, as well as terms and conditions to carry out their services. This also proves the fact that consumers are always in need of their essentials and so, staying competitive and available even in times like these is what proves your competitiveness as a brand. Moreover, it also gives out a very important message to the people of pakistan to stay productive and never stop for anything! Every problem has a solution and so, we should always step ahead, proving our competitiveness to the world and adapt to changes like these quickly so we stay productive.
Long Live, Pakistan!