Economy

The new normal: How coronavirus pandemic is changing consumer behaviour

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on May 25, 2020 Published on May 25, 2020

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Feedback Insights, a Bangalore-based research firm, conducted a survey that brings to light the consumer behaviour patterns that will reshape the economy in the post-Covid-19 world.

The survey in which over 1,214 respondents participated, revealed that a change in the social norms shall manifest in new patterns of consumer consumption.

The report suggests that there is a looming fear about the coronavirus: about 50 per cent are extremely- or very- worried about their family, or themselves catching the virus. Worrying about the job and/or business is next at 40 per cent.

The post-lockdown period is going to see major changes in the way consumers adopt and spend their time and money. The survey shows a blueprint of ‘the new normal’ by identifying the behaviour patterns which will begin ‘early’, ‘later than a year’ and ‘never’.

Early adoption

The early adoption will likely include meeting socially and alcohol purchases will quickly spring back, as about two-thirds will engage within weeks.

Online purchase is expected to pick up rapidly, as 60 per cent of those who surveyed say that they will begin buying within 7-10 days. Beauty services are expected to restart within 30-90 days.

Late adoption

The late adoption practices, like eating at restaurants and shopping at malls for apparel and shoes, would restart much later as it would take a few months to reach an 80 per cent penetration level. Movies in theatres will need more than a year to see the audience coming back.

Consumer durables and electronics see a slower pick-up. While about 50 per cent will restart purchasing within about 40 days, it will take about a year to see the 80 per cent level of consumption return.

 

The stock market would still rule, with 50 per cent back to investing in weeks and 80 per cent back in about 3-4 months. Similarly, medical insurance sees a big surge, with 50 per cent planning to renew/repurchase medical insurance within weeks of the lockdown lifting.

The survey suggests that self-employed/businessmen whose cash flows have eased would lead the financial market behaviour.

Extremely late adoption

There are some categories that are poised to lose their consumers almost completely this year. This includes international travels, ‘big ticket’ purchases like house, vehicles, land etc. and remodelling (like that of interiors, furniture, etc.) are likely to pick up only after one year of the lockdown being lifted.

Health, a priority

Since the lockdown, the majority of respondents have started focusing more on their health by eating healthier than before (55 per cent) and exercising (36 per cent).

However, about 60 per cent of the respondents are eating less non-veg food than before. 36 per cent of respondents are spending more time on work than before.

Published on May 25, 2020
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