How has Covid-19 pandemic impacted the buying habits of consumers?

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 19, 2020 Published on September 19, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has majorly affected the buying habits of consumers along with how they search for and interact with new businesses, according to Deloitte’s Digital Tools in Crisis and Recovery consumer report commissioned by Facebook.

According to the report, consumers are using digital tools to find and interact with new businesses with an increase in online spending. Furthermore, many have switched to local small businesses owing to numerous reasons, whether it is due to a lockdown or to support these businesses.

Using digital tools

As per the report, 48 per cent of consumers reported an increase in online spending since the outbreak of Covid-19 while 40 per cent of participants reported an increase in the use of social media and online messaging for product and business recommendations.

“Nearly two-thirds of shoppers surveyed who substituted one of their frequented businesses for a new one reported using digital tools to discover these new businesses,” the report said.

“Consumers appear willing to continue using digital tools in their interactions with businesses going forward and in the post-Covid-19 era, which may lead to a structural shift,” the report said.

Increased preference for small businesses

Consumers are also showing an increased preference for small businesses amid the pandemic. Among those who have substituted their frequented businesses, 60 per cent of the respondents stated that they had shifted to a small business which was local to them.

Apart from this, out of the consumers who have added new businesses to their list, 73 per cent said that at least one of those new businesses was a small business.31 per cent of consumers said that they were planning to increase their spending with small, local businesses even after the pandemic.

“Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, consumers have altered not just what they buy, but how they buy, where they buy and how they discover new businesses,” the report said.

As for products, the buying trends have shifted more towards essentials from discretionary goods and services. The home entertainment sector is one of the sectors that has benefitted the most amid the pandemic, the report said.

The study is based on responses from consumers across 13 markets- Australia, Brazil, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Spain, Sri Lanka, the UK and the US.

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Published on September 19, 2020
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