The COVID-19 epidemic has all this while wreaked havoc on society, economies, and nations all over the world, affecting many areas of the economy. It has permanently changed consumer behaviour by squeezing all parts of our life. While for many of us, it has merely accelerated the adoption of existing powerful behaviours such as digitalization in areas such as retail, banking, and many others. As the economy recovers, these lockdowns have had a significant impact on corporate operations, consumer behaviour, and people's daily lives. The market has seen a spectacular shift in consumer behaviour, with an unparalleled growth in e-commerce operations globally. These developments were prompted by a variety of government policies, initiatives, and limitations. Essential products and services have now shifted to digital platforms.
The changed consumer behaviour:
- More of Online Purchasing: According to a recent Mc Kinsey & Co research on the influence of Covid-19 on consumer attitude and behaviour, after performing weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly surveys in 12 countries, 91% of Indians modified their purchasing behaviour as a result of the crisis. Many customers, who are increasingly working from home and are wary of congested public venues, are turning to the internet for their purchasing requirements. If demonetisation drove consumers to switch to cashless payments, Covid-19 has compelled them to switch to online purchasing.
- Digital Transition: We have all observed noticeable shifts in customer purchase behaviour as a result of the digital transition. Numerous polls have revealed that customers are turning to value-based purchasing in order to get the most bang for their buck. Essentials, travel, and holiday spending are just a few of the purchasing categories that have seen a significant boost.
- New Trends: Some of the consumer behaviour trends include: more self-reliant, and “do it yourself” values, an increase in consumption of health and fitness supplements, community purchases via apps/websites.
- Resilience & Adaptability: During Covid-19, the two primary dynamic factors of consumer behaviour were recognised as Resilience and Adaptability. When a consumer's regular purchase pattern is disturbed, the likelihood that they would try new brands increases, and local players are involved in the competition. This results in a higher value since customers are more likely to remain with freshly tested brands, causing brand loyalty to be shaken. Customers are becoming more aware of what they buy as they adjust to shifting consumer experiences and expectations. The Consumer in 2021 demands Convenience and a streamlined customer experience.
Online gaining popularity
The epidemic has pushed buyers and customers online, today's customer prefers to purchase everything online, from hand sanitizer to groceries to cosmetics and even health goods. With the second wave of the online shopping boom, there is a greater emphasis on advertising and delivery, as well as customer experience from the seller side. Because they saw the benefits when physical limitations forced all of our lives to come to a halt, digital tools have made it simpler for the elderly to feel more connected to the virtual world. Previously, shopping was primarily reserved for physical stores; however, e-commerce has made it easier by demonstrating a more convenient and transactional method.
Markets have seen a shift in consumer preferences, with people abandoning purchases of nice-to-have products and restricting consumption to groceries and in-home entertainment. Consumer behaviour has been re-defined as a result of the inevitable COVID-19 epidemic. As a result, firms must consider making strategic adjustments for long-term viability and rethinking existing customer behaviour models. The trend of ‘purchasing local’ is rising across the world. People have grown more conscious of what they purchase. They are attempting to reduce food waste, are more cost aware, and are interested in purchasing more sustainable choices.
Following these trends, businesses are preparing to redesign their consumer marketing tactics. There is a tremendous need to meet customers' present and future demands, which have been altered as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic. While e-commerce is growing, other digital and contactless services, such as curb side pickup, delivery, and drive-through service, are gaining popularity. New habits developed today will persist beyond this crisis, irreversibly altering what we value, how and where we purchase, and how we live and work. E-commerce live-streaming is projected to grow in popularity, with businesses utilising virtual reality to enhance the buying experience.
- This article is penned by Ruchika Bhagat, MD, Neeraj Bhagat & Co.