New Products

There is Pent-up Shopper Demand for New Products and Innovations

Over the last few months we have been tracking how shopper mindsets are shifting during these times – particularly in terms of what they want to hear from brands. Back in mid-March, it was predictably all about responses to COVID – such as what brands were doing to help with the crisis.  By mid-April, things had started to slowly shift as shoppers showed growing interest in hearing about sales, promotions and new products or innovations. As we head into mid-May, these shifts have accelerated and point towards more shoppers growing weary of hearing about COVID responses from brands – and creating a great opportunity for innovative brands to connect with shoppers eager to try new and innovative things.

Here are three of the key insights pointing in this direction from our most recent weekly survey:

  1. Shoppers may have crossed a tipping point on hearing about what brands are doing about COVID. Back in March almost 2/3rds of shoppers wanted to hear what brands were doing to help with the crisis, and this barely budged in April. In May it plunged down to 44% – so from the majority to a minority. We believe it’s fair to say there’s only so much COVID information we can all continue to take, and it points towards more shoppers looking to find some more normalcy in life anywhere they can.
  2. If you were thinking about a big sale, now may be the time. Back in mid-March a minority of shoppers (40%) wanted to hear about sales and promotions. In April it crossed into a small majority (56%). Now it’s catapulted to 75% – shoppers are hungry for deals. We believe at least part of this is driven by many food retailers (which are the only places many people have been shopping at) having scaled back the extent of price promotions offered during the early stages of the crisis. So in many ways this could also be interpreted as shoppers wanting to get back to normal.
  3. There is massive pent up demand for new products / innovations. This interest started perking up in in April (jumping from 16% to 23%), but has now jumped all the way up to 45% – or almost doubling in about a month. This is absolutely a great time for marketers to be promoting new product launches – while thinking about the many ways they might need to be done differently given the increased importance of the online channel.

With various retailers starting to open up across different parts of the country, it is obviously going to be an interesting and important time for brands to understand how shopper needs, wants and preferences are changing. One of the more interesting areas will be in which ways (and categories) shoppers seek more normalcy by sticking with the brands they know and trust, versus the ones they might decide it’s time for something new – topics we’re continually exploring in our ongoing studies. 

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