The pandemic has influenced the the way consumers live, work and socialise and shop. According to a survey by Accenture, after a year of lockdowns, 98 per cent of survey respondents in India said they made at least one change to their lifestyle that they expect will be permanent. As consumers are working from home, changing travel patterns or shopping more locally, companies will need to fundamentally rethink how they cater to the pandemic-adapted consumer, the survey report added.

More than 9,650 people in 19 countries including more than 500 in India participated in this survey which stated that some of the shifts could be long term.

Key findings

One of the key findings include dramatic rise in online shopping in the country, even by those who were previously infrequent users in India. “The proportion of online purchases for products such as food, home décor, fashion, and luxury goods by previously infrequent e-commerce users — defined as those who used online channels for less than 25 per cent of purchases prior to the outbreak — has increased 667 per cent since the outbreak in India,” the survey added.

Also as consumers increasingly work from home, more than 87 per cent of respondents in India said they would like to occasionally work from a “third space” — a location other than their home or place of employment. “This highlights a potential opportunity to grow revenue for the hospitality and retail industries,” the survey stated.

“The past year has been a tough one for consumers and consumer-facing industries. Evolving consumer preferences and behaviours have led to huge demand fluctuation, making it imperative for consumer goods and retail companies to stay agile and resilient. As companies shift from reaction to reinvention, they need to harness digital’s full potential across the value chain at speed and scale,” said Anurag Gupta, Managing Director and Lead - Strategy & Consulting, Accenture in India.

Nearly 57 per cent of respondents in India said either they won’t undertake business travel or cut down business travel by half in post-pandemic times but may resume travel for leisure, the survey added.

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