The coronavirus pandemic will without a doubt change consumer behavior for a long time to come. With more than 1.5 billion people worldwide under mandatory stay at home orders, there has been a major shift towards e-commerce. According to Brightfield Group, CBD companies interested in expanding their customer base and brand loyalty need to move quickly to build online relationships.
The organization has been providing real-time consumer insights and market intelligence to CBD and cannabis brands during the coronavirus crisis, and it says that once consumers get used to online shopping and digital wholesale models, they won’t be easy to woo back.
Small to mid-size CBD brands that act sooner rather than later have an opportunity to leap ahead of their less nimble competitors, says Brightfield managing director Bethany Gomez. “Tightening customer focus and marketing a strong brand with a distinct personality will separate those CBD companies who survive this pandemic from those that will hesitate or shrink from customer view.”
The organization has been working closely with its marketing insight partner Zenzi through individual client consultations as well as online webinars to develop insights related to consumer behavior during the coronavirus pandemic, Gomez says. All signs point to a huge shift in competition within the marketplace once the crisis dies down, with the number of players reducing from 3,500 to as little as 1,000.
“This is a challenging environment for doing business, but a strong opportunity for marketers. You need to get in front of your audience and make them feel connected to your brand and the value it offers.”
With billions of people stuck at home staring at phone and computer screens all day, a strong online presence would be the best way to cast your net. However, a large number of brands depend on trade shows to get word on their products out, and most of them were either canceled or postponed. Additionally, for many a brand, the plan for this year had been to open as many brick and mortar locations and let word of mouth do the rest.
“Consumers are captive now, they’re all in front of their screens, all on social media, all opening their emails. It’s really the time that they’re listening. If you have something to say, you need to say it now,” says Gomez, adding, “E-commerce is the new battleground and if you’re not in it, you’re done.”
It is widely believed that established players in the cannabis industry like Sugarmade Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) are ramping up their digitization efforts in order to be ahead on the curve within the industry.
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