During the COVID-19 pandemic, the consumer’s behavior had shifted drastically. This situation is worse in countries that had been impacted by this pandemic severely as consumers engaged in panic buying to stock-piling foods and other necessary items.
According to consumer behavioral research, due to shopping restrictions, consumers during this pandemic are immensely relying on online purchasing. In comparison with last year, the percentage of online grocery shopping has drastically increased both in millennials and the aged population segment.
Additionally, other product categories, for instance, entertainment and media also have an increased number of purchasing during the pandemic. This increased demand is because people have to stay home and spend their leisure time watching online content and playing video games.
According to EY Future Consumer Index, in US new types of consumer segments had emerged because of this pandemic. These new consumer segments can be categorized into four types:
i) Save and stock-pile:
The percentage of this consumer segment is 34%. These consumers have a pessimistic outlook in terms of long-term effects and have only concerns for their families not about the pandemic.
ii) Stay calm and carry on:
The percentage of this consumer segment is 25%. These consumers are not directly affected by the pandemic, thus their purchasing behavior does not change. However, they are usually worried that others are stockpiling.
iii) Cut deep:
The percentage of this consumer segment is 23%. These consumers are highly affected by the pandemic. They usually have a pessimistic outlook regarding long-terms effects, thus, they spend less in all of the categories.
iv) Hibernate and spend:
The percentage of this consumer segment is 18%. These consumers are highly concerned about the pandemic and have an optimistic outlook about the future, thus, they spend more.
In comparison with the rest of the world, this percentage varies as Americans mostly can be categorized as optimistic hibernate and spend and less as a cut deep consumer segment.
The consumer’s overall demand has decreased due to pandemic and that eventually affected their purchasing behavior. There is a huge possibility that online grocery shopping trends will continue even after the pandemic period as consumers are enjoying the convenience and flexibility of the online delivery service. Additionally, consumers will also continue secure savings as there are uncertainties regarding their stability of the income source. Furthermore, since the pandemic started the airline sector is the one which is more negatively affected and expected to have decreased demand due to less frequent traveling.
Although the pandemic has changed everything in a significant way still businesses have to respond toward the consumer’s changing demands and purchasing behavior. Also, businesses have to review their business model and include more innovativeness in terms of communicating and engaging with their consumers.