April 20, 2020

The prospect of a pandemic has been well known for years, but no one could have predicted the impact COVID-19 is having on our world.

At times like these with everything in flux, it is difficult to foresee with certainty how consumer behaviors will change. Key signals are emerging, however, and the retailers who best understand and serve their customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors will thrive now and in a post-COVID world.

Trends to Watch

Virtual Meetings and Events: The COVID-19 crisis has forced countless face-to-face meetings and events to be cancelled or postponed. Some innovative retailers have responded with new ways to use virtual meetings and events. For example,  +45 wineries in California are hosting virtual wine tasting sessions. Participants can interact with the proprietors, learn about products in new fun and engaging ways.

  • Does your organization have a customer analytics platform in place that can help you understand changing customer motivations and deliver valuable virtual experiences to the right customers at the right time?

Open Source Solutions: Consumers respect brands that collaborate with other brands to solve problems for everyone. We are seeing many brands coming together, sharing resources and working in partnership with other organizations to address coronavirus problems.

In addition to helping people stay physically and mentally healthy while staying at home with apps that provides tools, motivation and affirmations Nike is also partnering with health professionals at Oregon Health and Science University to create Personal Protective Equipment–full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator lenses–to protect against COVID-19.

Open source solutions open the door to integrating third party services and experiences into your offerings. Partners are sources of new data to further enhance your insight into each customer’s profile, goals, behaviors, sentiments, and journey.

  • Do you have a flexible open source analytics platform in place that enables you to collaborate with other organizations to deliver more value to your customers?

Sustainable Retailing: Sustainability is another trend that has been accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic. More people than ever value their role in preserving the environment. In the research conducted in a global survey of 10,000 shoppers by Salesforce, 65% of shoppers say that they care more about sustainability than they did a year ago.

As more and more people recognize the environmental crises, shoppers are taking a more critical look at the footprint of their purchases. Some retailers already responding to this trend. Madewell’s Denim Recycling program offers consumers who donate their used jeans, any brand, a $20 credit. L’Oreal is reducing packaging waste and is committed to a 60% reduction of their environmental footprint by the end of this year.

  • Are you prepared to respond to new customer behaviors, preferences and needs? Are you ready to meet their new expectations?

The one thing all these trends have in common is the need to understand your customers changing needs and expectations based on actionable, data-driven insights.

TCS Customer Intelligence & Insights for Retail advanced customer analytics software with out-of-the-box use cases for customer engagement can help you meet and predict current and future customer needs. It helps business users gain insights to deliver superior shopping experiences across their customers’ physical-digital journeys— quickly and cost-effectively. CI&I for Retail automatically builds highly differentiated customer personas, enables more targeted campaigns, and lets retailers track and influence the customer journey – which translates to more share of wallet, stronger loyalty, positive word of mouth and higher return on marketing.

Learn more about how to gain actionable insights about your customers changing expectations.

Stay safe.


Kathleen Holm is Marketing Director of the TCS Digital Software & Solutions (DS&S) Group. She has more than 25 years of experience marketing technology software and services to enterprises worldwide. She leverages her extensive background in enterprise software technology to help organizations develop effective marketing strategies, create targeted messaging and positioning, and implement effective go-to-market plans to improve corporate performance. Prior to joining TCS, Kathleen was a Senior Principal of technical product marketing for Oracle Fusion Middleware where she was responsible for defining the marketing strategy based on industry maturity and customer trends. She also held positions at IBM including Market Manager for WebSphere Developer Programs, Market Manager for Tivoli Integrated Service Management and Tivoli Brand Specialist. Prior to joining IBM, Kathleen worked with four high-tech startups.