The forecast for holiday shopping and spending patterns of the consumers will show a noticeable pullback in spending on developing small businesses, and rising consumer expectations in the behavior of the brands they purchase from. The prediction doesn’t bode well for e-tailers and retailers. A report from Braze, the provider of customer engagement platforms propose that marketers focus on trustworthiness and value of brands to handle challenges faced by retailers in running after consumers from generations with distinct behavior, preferences, and expectations. Myles Kleeger, chief customer officer and president of Braze, said that COVID-19 changed the retail experience of consumers since the e-commerce demands are becoming permanent, patterns of spending are changing and there is an upending of customer loyalty. It is important to prioritize customer engagement to initiate future growth and serve customers.

Despite the reports on attraction to online shopping, Braze’s reports indicate that COVID-19 fueled online support of small businesses. 48 percent of consumers are convinced to shop in the stores in the need to support local retailers. Myles told E-Commerce Times that impacts of COVID-19 are permanent and there is an opportunity in the Christmas holiday and now for customer acquisition.

Surveys showed that buying decisions for consumers are not only based on familiarity with the brand. Corporate empathy and value of the brand play a role in purchasing decisions and loyalty of the consumer. Based on the reports, retailers should design campaigns to strengthen relationships with all customers in the leading months of the holidays. Building out lifecycle and onboard marketing programs allows lower acquisition costs and raises opportunities that customers will make purchases in the holiday season.

Braze indicates that during the COVID-19 pandemic, 26 percentage of the consumers tried a new brand. 95 percent of the global consumers intend to purchase again from the new brands. Myles noted that customers obtained during the pandemic are likely to proceed compared to those with pre-pandemic sign-ups. The marketing communication should be timely, useful, personalized, and relevant to new shoppers to better the retention. The well-designed customer engagement platforms reinforce habits and strengthen obtained shoppers. Digital payments uptick provides marketers with the latest strategies. Merchants should target consumers via mobile marketing. Since the pandemic, users are on their smartphones. Customers explore brands and shop via mobile when stuck at home. Mobile introduces customers to new products, ideas and even delivers on the return. Mobile marketing enables retailers to convert sales and expand on their reach. Kleeger opted that markets adapt to the struggles of the consumer in handling the pandemic. Consumers grapple with financial challenges and health risks during COVID-19.