I’ve just booked a holiday for the first week of January. Will it happen? Probably, but there is of course a chance that it won’t. Does that matter? No, it’s fully refundable. Like many, I need something to look forward to. It seems I’m not the only one – social platform Pinterest has just released some interesting stats on where they believe consumer sentiment is right now.
Four phases based on consumer trends
Pinterest have split their timeframe into 4 parts:
Phase 1: Triage + Information (First 21 days)
Phase 2: Empathy + Relevance (Days 7-45)
Phase 3: Escapism + Optimism (Days 45-120)
Phase 4: Recovery + Rebound (-10 days from quarantine lift onward)
In the first few weeks of lockdown searches centred around recipes and things for kids to do. These have now levelled off in line with phase 3 according to the platform, with planning for the future now growing strongly. Thoughts have once again tuned to categories such as travel and wedding plans.
This mirrors what we’ve seen across our own network with engagement across food, home and garden performing exceptionally well during April and education campaigns for September university courses taking off during the past few weeks, as students plan their future.
The research phase lengthens
Whilst we may be entering a more optimistic phase, one thing that has changed is how we research potential purchases. New research from Bauer Media found that 32% of consumers now take longer to look up and consider a product or service than they did pre-lockdown. Notable category finds were that:
“59% spend longer when buying kitchen equipment, and 52% spend longer when purchasing entertainment electronics”
Cars, houses and holidays
We know big ticket items have a far longer funnel even in more normal times. As we explored in a previous travel blog, research from Expedia shows that in the 45 days before making a purchase, British consumers visit websites an average of 121 times!
The journey to purchasing a car typically lasts around 24 weeks according to Facebook research. 13 weeks of that time is spent researching and building knowledge online through content before a potential customer even sets foot inside a dealership.
Buying a new home can involve an even longer consideration period (16 months), with online research lasting 7 months before an active search begins according to the digital house hunt (Google).
Planning content ahead of trends
Given that the research and consideration phase has more likely lengthened during lockdown, it makes sense to be in market with useful content to aid the buying journey now, ahead of expecting consumers to be comfortable with booking travel / visiting a dealership / viewing a show home.
Even if people aren’t ready to commit to booking the trip of a lifetime right now, they have almost certainly started the process. Producing and distributing optimistic content now will sow the seeds for conversion when the time is right.