Consumers behaviour may see fundamental shift as focus on health, tech adoption rises: EY

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 13, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a catalyst in shifting consumer behaviour, driven mainly by health, technology adoption and hyper-localisation, and some of these changes could be fundamental in nature, according to a survey conducted by EY.

The survey, titled “Life in a pandemic”, found that health is a key focus with nearly 80 per cent of respondents stating that they are eating healthier and sticking to home-cooked meals, 56 per cent engaging in housework and 32 per cent participating in home work-outs. Nearly 32 per cent respondents have also availed services for online consultation with doctors during this pandemic.

Over 94 per cent of the respondents have now accepted ‘work from home’ as the new normal, with 55 per cent advocating for work from home even during the post-pandemic period. Savings also seems to be on the top of the mind, as 43 per cent of respondents stated that they will reduce big-ticket spends across categories like automobile, travel and consumer durables.

“A majority continues to feel overwhelmed by uncertainties clouding the future. Nevertheless, they indicate an intention to continue their newly adopted behaviours post Covid-19,” EY stated.

Online focus

Even social interactions are undergoing a massive change, with acceleration in adoption of digital with 78 per cent respondents using video conferencing platforms to stay connected with friends and family. At the same time, online learning is gaining ground as about 80 per cent students have shifted to online education and 46 per cent said they will want to continue with it post the pandemic.

Meanwhile, respondents also expressed concerns about online safety. About 80 per cent respondents stated that they avoid visiting unknown websites and services and refrain from sharing personal data and frequently delete cookies.

The findings are based on responses of 2,033 Indian consumers across the urban, adult population in a survey conducted between May 14-25.

Strategic shift

In a statement, Shashank Shwet, Partner - Customer Experience and Design Thinking, EY India, said, “There is a clear paradigm shift in consumer behaviour towards online, even in traditionally offline categories. Consumers are ‘cocooning’ at home to keep themselves safe from the pandemic. To win in adversity, companies need to tailor strategies to today’s unique context.”

With 70 per cent of the respondents admitting that they are grappling with fear and anxiety, brands may need to focus on practising empathy while serving consumers. “Brands that will be nimble enough to capture the pulse of these changes, make timely alterations to their modus operandi and add digital and convenience as a service will thrive in these unprecedented scenarios,” he added


Published on August 13, 2020

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