The outbreak of the coronavirus and its eventual evolution to a global pandemic has disrupted the lives of people everywhere. It has changed consumer behavior, especially since the world is expected to cope within unknown territories.
As confirmed cases continue to rise and uncertainty regarding the future populating public consciousness, consumers are slowly adapting their purchasing decisions and behaviors in the face of various scenarios. These changes in the decision-making process are likely to have a cumulative effect in many industries long after the crisis passes.
While the world awaits the catastrophe to wane, the top priority for many consumers will be maintaining health and minimizing the risk of illness. These attitudes can be seen with the enforcement of social distancing measures and the use of personal protective equipment. More consumers have also become sensitive to sanitation and disinfection measures when handling goods and entering essential establishments.
Looking at the long-term outlook, this awareness of hygiene and cleanliness will likely permeate consumers’ mindsets and brands can respond by becoming transparent about their safety procedures.
Businesses have followed the measures laid down by the government and have also tweaked these to fit their operations. Food deliveries have implemented contactless systems, grocery stores have reduced operating hours to allocate more time for disinfection, and others still have diligently patrolled customers with thermal scanning on top of the strategic sanitizing stations in place.
Looking at the long-term outlook, this awareness of hygiene and cleanliness will likely permeate consumer mindsets and brands can respond by becoming transparent about their safety procedures. It will also be responsible for brands to require personnel to submit to hygiene measures such as incorporating PPEs into their uniform and enforcing handwashing rules.
Shift to online transactions
With lockdown orders in place for the majority of heavily affected countries, the movement of people is extremely limited. Many operations now exist entirely online, especially as schools and businesses are urged to continue business as usual through work-from-home setups. This has led to an increase in traffic for online fashion retailers, pharmacies, and groceries. Banks have also been responding by waiving online banking fees, allowing people to send, deposit and spend from home.
This increase in traffic is also allowing brands to polish and innovate their online presence. Prioritizing and investing in online services is a right step into the post-pandemic future. In the long run, these are also the kinds of operations that consumers may continue to seek, even after the pandemic.
Product shortage is one of the pressing problems for many essential businesses. When news of the lockdown broke out, people flocked to groceries and convenience stores and hoarded essential supplies.
However, as the quarantine goes on longer and people are settling into a life constantly under threat, consumers are buying smarter. Panic buying behaviors are settling down and with the help of no-hoarding policies, consumers are choosing food and supplies that last longer and are of quality instead of simply going for quality. People are also becoming more considerate of others—buying only what is needed for themselves or their families.
Prioritizing and investing in online services would be a right step into the post-pandemic future. In the long run, these are also the kinds of operations that consumers may continue to seek, even after the pandemic.
Putting off non-essential shopping
Although government priority right now is the health and safety of the public, experts are trying to stay ahead of possible economic repercussions that are inevitably going to hit the global market. This will impact consumer sentiment, especially for those who lost jobs and income.
Consumers are likely to become value and quality-oriented, choosing to forego brands that may be charging an unnecessary premium for goods or services. In a report by market research company Global Web Index, 22 percent of citizens are delaying the purchase of luxury items with younger millennials and Gen Z most likely restricting their spending due to lower income levels.
Post-pandemic, customers are going to be more aware of how and what they consume. In response, brands can fine-tune their services and offerings in order to fit current generations’ practical and pragmatic approach to purchasing.