It seems a momentous occasion to mark: one year since the pandemic began.

Most people can remember when they first realized that the coronavirus was A THING. Maybe the gravity of the situation struck as you stood staring at empty shelves at the grocery store. Or as the never-ending news cycle became all COVID, all the time. Perhaps it became real when you had to explain to your children that they couldn’t go to school … or the playground … or anywhere else, for that matter.

A collective groan arose as stay-at-home orders forced brick-and-mortar businesses to close their doors – some, heartbreakingly, for good. But many pivoted, finding new ways to maintain operations.

Restaurants shifted from dine-in to carry-out.
Food stores provided pick-up and delivery.
Medical practices offered virtual visits.
Car dealerships went completely contact-free.

The way Americans adapted was truly inspiring – and despite a global pandemic, the ad world kept turning.

Just like retailers embraced new ways to make a buck, marketers perfected their digital approach to reaching consumers. Knowing that quarantined consumers’ online usage would inevitably rise, brands plastered the digital space with engaging ads like never before. Marketing on platforms like Instagram proved especially fruitful, with 90% of users following at least one business and 87% discovering new products/services there.

Now, with vaccine distribution gaining momentum and some semblance of normalcy restored, businesses wonder about what lies ahead. One thing is clear, though: the future of retail sure isn’t what we thought it would be this time last year. There’s nothing like a pandemic to force innovation at warp-speed, as it turns out …

In fact, one Salesforce study shows that 88% of customers now expect companies to “accelerate digital initiatives.” They want better online buying experiences – and now that they’ve had a taste of the convenience they provide, they won’t settle for anything less.

Plus, consumers crave an easy transition between digital and physical spaces, allowing them to move between the two seamlessly. Even more interestingly, 74% of Americans report that the pandemic “fundamentally changed” how they shop – and 42% say they’re not going back.

So what does this mean for your business? How has your brand evolved during the pandemic, and what does the future hold?

To talk strategy, contact Motivated Marketing today! Whether you’re eager to grow your digital presence or step onto another marketing platform, our team is here to help! Just email or call 843.856.7322 to get in touch today.