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May 08, 2020 @ 05:05 by Alexander Voss

COVID-19 will permanently change consumer behavior

New Accenture survey Consumer Goods & Services, May 4, 2020: Pandemic increases focus on ethical consumption and accelerates digital adoption

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to alter consumer behaviors permanently and cause lasting structural changes to the consumer goods and retail industries, according to findings of an Accenture survey of more than 3,000 consumers in 15 countries across five continents. The survey, which was conducted between April 2 and April 6, after many countries had implemented stay-at-home orders, found that consumers have already begun shifting their purchasing priorities. For instance, consumers overall said they were currently buying more personal hygiene and cleaning products, as well as canned and fresh foods than they had been two weeks prior — while purchasing fewer fashion, beauty and consumer electronics items.

More importantly, however, the findings indicate that many of the changes in consumer behavior are likely to continue long after the pandemic. In addition, the crisis is also causing consumers to more seriously consider the health and environmental impacts of their shopping choices.

  • 60% of respondents are spending more time on self-care and mental well-being, with about six in 10 consumers (57%) saying they have started exercising more at home;
  • 64% of consumers said they’re focusing more on limiting food waste and will likely continue to do so going forward;
  • 50% of consumers said they’re shopping more health-consciously and will likely to continue to do so; and
  • 45% of consumers said they’re making more sustainable choices when shopping and will likely continue to do so.

Pandemic is accelerating digital adoption

Not surprisingly, the survey found that the pandemic is causing more people to shop for groceries online. In fact, one in five respondents who said their most-recent grocery purchase was done online were first-time online grocery shoppers — for older consumers, this was one in three. And while 32% of consumers’ current purchases of all products and services have been online, that figure is expected to rise to 37% going forward.

More details under survey

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