In recent months, consumers and brands alike have had to adjust to unprecedented Stay-at-Home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic. More time in the home drove more online shopping which has resulted in significant shifts in consumer behavior, particularly the appetite for digital-first experiences from all generations. The acceleration of consumer comfort with digital experiences is especially important for consumer durable brands as they look to invest in or expand their focus on building direct sales channels and consumer relationships.

Underscoring this imperative, Registria conducted its own analysis of product registration and owner engagement data from 100+ global brands during the period March 1–April 30, 2020. As compared to the same period during the previous calendar year, our analysis validates the accelerated shift in digital-first consumer behavior.

Further, the data shows that brands that offer rich, digital experiences, and had developed Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) channels prior to this time, were able to better engage their customers and drive new revenue – often offsetting reduced sales from retail distribution channels that were closed because of the pandemic.

An overview of the data shows:

  • As consumers purchased more home products, brands that had prioritized a digital onboarding experience to connect with a bounty of new customers saw a big lift in the number of new owners identified by offering a mobile-led method as the first connection point in the ownership experience.
  • Product categories like kitchen appliances, fitness equipment, and consumer electronics saw huge increases in the number of product owners identified through digital onboarding channels as sales increased.
  • Brands that had already invested in adding a direct sales channel to the onboarding experience and throughout the ownership experience benefited from an increase in sales, attachment rate, and average sale price from those channels during stay-at-home.

When these trends are considered alongside the pandemic’s largely negative effect on retail and other traditional distribution channels, the message is clear and compelling for product brands. The future lies in Direct-to-Consumer strategies and providing owners with personalized digital ownership experiences.

One of the key findings from this period of sheltering in place is that consumers are now much more open to buying direct from brands over digital channels. The CMO Survey – produced by Deloitte, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and the American Marketing Association – reported a nearly 85% increase in consumer openness to new digital offerings, and an almost 84% increase in the value consumers place on digital experiences. Moreover, the majority of those surveyed believe that consumers’ increased affinity for digital experiences will remain high and not return to pre-pandemic levels even when the crisis subsides.

As consumer behavior continues to evolve rapidly, there is a clear path for brands to capitalize on this changing behavior while positioning themselves for success in these uncertain times. Brands that offer a modern onboarding experience and more value throughout the ownership experience are driving increased engagement and customer satisfaction and are supplementing – or in some cases replacing – declining traditional retail sales with new, Direct-to-Consumer models.

More detail on our findings is available in our special report, “Ownership Experience Trends from Stay-At-Home America.” We invite you to download your complimentary copy.

Contact us to speak with one of our Ownership Experience specialists.

About the Author, Heather Wilkerson

Heather Wilkerson, VP fo Marketing at RegistriaHeather Wilkerson leads Registria’s corporate marketing team at Registria. Heather’s executive experience building brands, forming strategies, and driving revenue growth across data, marketing, and technology markets fits perfectly with Registria’s mission and focus of connecting brands with their product owners through exceptional ownership experiences. When she’s not strategizing or focusing on Registria’s growth path, you’ll almost certainly find her on a road bike, exploring Colorado’s natural landscape or hanging out with her two boys and two goldens, Dax and Lego.