- The pandemic has triggered a new normal for the world with major sectors running forward to adopt changes.
- As customers look forward, their outlook towards the paper and pulp industry has drastically changed.
- In a post pandemic world, the paper suppliers need to be more dynamic, resilient and sustainable to cater to the evolving customer base.
General customer trends in a post-pandemic world
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on consumer behavior, with many people reassessing their priorities and spending habits. This has been especially true for millennials, who have been hit hard by the economic downturn. As the world starts to reopen, it is important for paper producers and paper trading companies to understand how consumer behavior has changed and what this means for their marketing and sales strategies. Here are some key ways that consumer behavior has changed in a post-pandemic world:
- Increased focus on health and wellbeing
The pandemic has made people more aware of their own health and well-being, as well as the importance of protecting the health of their loved ones. This has led to a surge in demand for products and services that promote health and well-being.
Consumer health and conscious-living trends are genuine, and they are expected to grow well beyond the pandemic, with consequences that might have a direct influence on tissue consumption and the
types of goods requested.
A greater emphasis on food safety and cleanliness is driving a general increase in tissue product usage. This is shown by the higher demand for bath and towel tissue. It is essential for paper suppliers to understand this trend.
2. More cautious spending
With many people facing financial insecurity, there has been a shift towards more cautious spending. Consumers are more likely to research purchases and look for ways to save money.
This has resulted in the end of most brand loyalty trends. Almost 80% of Americans believe they have modified their buying habits since Covid-19 started, with roughly 40% switching brands. In Europe, a
similar tendency has been observed, with 27% of customers having tried different brands since the outbreak of the pandemic and over 80% intending to continue with the change. Value is the primary
motivator for switching in both locations.
This is also characterized by a continuously growing price sensitivity in the market.
3. Greater interest in sustainability
The pandemic has also raised awareness of the importance of sustainability. Consumers are now more likely to consider the environmental impact of their purchases and look for products that are eco-friendly.
Customers are more worried now than ever before about the environmental effect of the things they buy, particularly tissue products, and they have expectations about the circularity of the products they buy. Gen Z and millennial buyers, in particular, identify “purpose” and an increased demand for quality and organic products as important reasons for changing their purchasing habits.
4. Increased use of digital channels
The pandemic has forced many people to rely on digital channels for shopping, entertainment and communication. This trend is likely to continue in the post-pandemic world, as people become more
comfortable with online shopping and communication.
This is illustrated by the fact that in the United States, internet spending has increased at an unprecedented rate, with a 35% year-on-year increase in the 12 months to January 2021. (via credit and
debit card spend). Online grocery purchases has surged by more than 40%, resulting in a significant acceleration of e-commerce shipments. This pattern can be seen in all major countries.
Covid-19 has increased the growth of internet shopping across several categories, most notably grocery. This behavior is predicted to maintain a high level of “stickiness” beyond the epidemic. Because fewer transactions are done in-store and there is less “touch and feel,” there will be fewer possibilities for in-person connection.
Consumers’ value orientation is predicted to increase private label tissue demand and the desire for lower-cost solutions. Online sales will have an influence on pack sizes, but also on areas such as
ensuring that tissue goods can be transported directly in their original container without the need for supplementary packing (i.e., ship-ready packaging).
5. More support for local businesses
There has been a surge of support for local businesses during the pandemic, as people recognize the importance of these businesses to the local economy. This trend is likely to continue in the post pandemic world, as people seek out businesses that they can trust.
Key Takeaways for paper producers
- Paper Suppliers must increase their output:
The next normal would need them to be even fitter, flatter, and quicker. This is to ensure that their organizations are more adaptable, reactive, and innovative. The capability to lead rapid sprints to speed creativity, develop next-generation design, leverage data and analytics to improve operating performance, and establish intelligent, resilient supply chains should be core competences. These abilities and techniques will be necessary to protect value in the face of price and inflation changes.
- Building Better Relationships With Other Market Players:
With the rise of digital commerce and shifting client preferences, paper traders will need to consider what partnerships they require, particularly how to deal with big e-commerce firms as customers
migrate online and how to balance this requirement with possible direct-to-consumer sales and marketing.
- Sustainability For A Younger Customer Base:
Customers are now demanding merchants and brand owners to focus more on developing and promoting sustainable products. As a result, paper trading companies will need to consider their complete footprint, including supply chain, production using recycled materials, and packaging.
Three strategic questions all paper producers need to answer
- How can Paper Suppliers address growth opportunities in the post pandemic market?
With customers’ attachment to online purchasing continuing as a trend – it will be critical for paper trading companies to address this significant development and change their product offering
accordingly. For instance, this can be done with optimized tissue/paper pack sizes and shipment-ready packaging. Other development opportunities will emerge as a result of the health and wellness movement, brand-changing behaviour, and customer attention on sustainability. Simultaneously, paper businesses must evaluate how to seek higher-growth markets in developing nations.
- What is the best channel for reaching the market?
Will retail lose its relevance, and will e-commerce become the new standard, or should a truly omnichannel go-to-market strategy be considered? It is critical for Paper Suppliers to consider all aspects of how to reach the market and how to collaborate with retailers and growing e-retailers to fulfill their sales goals.
- What organizational changes are needed in order to capture growth and value?
Paper Traders will have to be even more rapid and flexible with product innovation and supply-chain arrangement in order to pursue market development and value-creation potential. This might also
involve a separate go-to-market strategy for Paper Traders – which is determined by their geography and/or major retail consumers.
With the focus going forward for users and new consumer; industries are on their toes to capture the market. Stay in touch with the latest updates in the tissue industry with Coniferous, one of the leading tissue paper suppliers.