Three Things We Learned In 2021 About Product Trends, Consumer Behavior, Supply Chain Issues, and the Customer Experience
2021 taught us a lot. As we began our emergence from the COVID pandemic, we faced new challenges and new opportunities that helped shaped our business and carve out a path forward:
- The Need to Focus on Mental Health is Real. According to a June 2020 CDC study, 40% of U.S. adults were dealing with anxiety or depression. While COVID may have been a catalyst for this staggering number, it certainly isn’t the original source of it. Still though, the trauma and chaos of the pandemic brought attention to a very real problem and gave both consumers and businesses some perspective. From a product standpoint, consumers became (and remain) very focused on all things self-care; that is, products that aid in mind, body health. This includes everything from aromatherapy products to spa & relaxation items and from at-home fitness equipment to yoga gear. We saw the shift in redemptions, but we also saw it in our client programs as well. More and more businesses are re-examining their internal practices and taking strides to create stronger health and wellness programs for their employees. This includes everything from implementing flexible and/or remote work schedules to running employee challenges to keep people feeling connected, included, and engaged. When it comes to rewards, they’re more focused on including products that promote mind, body health.
- Consumers Care More About What They’re Buying. Whether it was inspired by the mentality of Gen Z, driven by political agendas or a reaction to a global pandemic, 2020 and 2021 have seen a rebirth in consumer consciousness. Consumers care about where they shop and what they buy (and what rewards they choose). There’s a loyalty to brands that support causes customers believe in and there’s a willingness to abandon companies whose practices are unethical. Businesses are taking notice. Recently, Rymax joined hands with Cuddle Clones to bring pet lovers everywhere 100% handmade plus replicas of their furbabies! Every purchase of a Cuddle Clone provides at least two meals and a toy to a shelter pet, improving the lives of animals.
- Customer Service is More Important Now Than Ever Before. The rise of the global COVID-19 pandemic caused an abrupt shutdown in industries around the world. With the world spinning again, demand has skyrocketed, creating major supply chain issues caused by product shortages, rising freight costs and port congestion. Included in the list of things the pandemic taught us is the fragility of supply chains. We’re only now discovering just how easily they can be disabled. And now that it has all come undone, there’s a renewed focus on customer service – and how it can aid in sparing the customer experience despite supply chain challenges. Now more than ever, customers seek on-demand communications, real-time updates, and personalized services – anxiously awaiting the arrival of orders that may be delayed for weeks or even months. Customer Service teams need to ensure that they offer customers fast resolutions of issues, automated tracking and status & delivery notifications, and better.