Because of the rapid acceleration of information and communication, time has become our most precious commodity. And earning people’s attention—and keeping it— has never been harder, especially with the impact of COVID-19 on practically every part of our lives. Businesses all across the globe are learning how to operate in that dreaded “new normal”, which on top of being cliched, is constantly changing.
Back in March, when shelter in place orders first started, customers were really focused on safety and gathering the essentials for what felt like a temporary time.
All of that has dramatically changed: now their priorities are about adapting their homes to this new evolving lifestyle for the foreseeable future. While at the beginning of 2020, people viewed their homes as a place where they escaped at the end of the day, over the past few months homes have become so much more than that—a coworking space, a home school, a yoga studio, a doggie daycare.
As part of Business of Home’s Future of Home 2020 virtual conference, Tracy Cho and Megan West of Domino led a discussion on how COVID-19 has changed buying behavior, highlighting some of the most interesting takeaways from the magazine’s research of 6,000 engaged readers.
The numbers tell the story of a changing relationship with home in the coronavirus era. A startling 30 percent of respondents reported they plan to move in the next year: searching for larger bedrooms, more privacy, or that so-highly-coveted outdoor space.
Those that aren’t moving are committed to improving their homes, with 60 percent saying they’re undergoing renovation projects of some size. Domino’s research shows that winter’s biggest trend won’t be style-driven, but motivated by utility—25 percent of respondents said that functionality was their primary focus.
Clearly, the customers are there. But why are home brands and design professionals having trouble connecting with them?
HubSpot aggregated Marketing and Sales Benchmark data from their global customer base of 70,000+ companies to understand how metrics are shifting as the world grapples with the impact of COVID-19. More insights and data here.
For obvious reasons, when COVID-19 began shutting down economies, companies that already had a robust online presence were at a distinct advantage over ones that didn’t. Website traffic has been one of the strongest-performing marketing metrics throughout the pandemic. As buyers have moved their purchasing online out of necessity, businesses with an established digital presence have reaped the rewards. Global site traffic currently sits at 20% above the pre-COVID benchmark.
And it’s not just website traffic that has crazy post-COVID numbers: global sales email volume is at an astonishing 59% above the pre-COVID benchmark—but response rates have been bleak. While sales teams have increased their email send, their response rates have been about 25-30% below the benchmark. Meanwhile, marketing email open rates sit at 18% above pre-COVID levels.
Where sales teams haven’t been able to connect, marketing teams have, period. This offers a huge area of opportunity for companies as we continue to live in our COVID-19 reality. For companies to become the kind of industry leader that others will have to follow, marketing is essential. It brings new customers, more business, and—most importantly—it creates and strengthens customer loyalty.
Providing a streamlined and customized online experience is also integral to your success, according to another Business of Home speaker, leading design entrepreneur and expert in home décor and furnishings Christiane Lemieux. In her new book “Frictionless,” she explains that modern consumers have no tolerance for anything they see as a waste of their time. She says that while good design will always move the world, making it easy for consumers to transact digitally—having a site optimized for devices and conversions—is just good business.
With ultraviolet and HubSpot, you can have a cohesive site that reflects your brand, offerings and aesthetic, and your customers get a personalized, secure experience. HubSpot’s Content Management System (CMS) makes it easy to grow better while their customer relationship management (CRM) system provides up-to-the-minute views of your entire sales pipeline on a clean, visual dashboard.
While nobody can predict what our post-coronavirus reality will look like, one thing is certain: digital marketing will be more important than ever. Our agency is staffed with HubSpot CMS-certified individuals who can help you design and create a professional website that will drive traffic and reflect your individual design services and aesthetic. And by leveraging the synergy between HubSpot’s CRM and CMS, we’ll deliver results by guiding your potential customers through a clearly defined sales funnel.