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Covid-19 lockdown restrictions significantly changed shopping behaviour: Survey

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 13, 2020

The Covid-19 induced lockdown restrictions have had a significant impact on consumers’ shopping habits and their interactions with brands, according to research released by Adobe on Wednesday.

The survey was released following Adobe Experience Makers Live, a virtual event to help brands adapt to the digital world. Aside from Adobe leaders, the event saw brands such as Vistara, Tata CLiQ, and Asian Paints share insights and learnings for continued customer engagement and recovery.

According to the report, more than three-fifths of consumers (67 per cent) expressed concern about the overall impact of the pandemic. Chief amongst these concerns were personal health (73 per cent), job vulnerability (40 per cent) and the economy (36 per cent).

The report revealed that nearly all consumers (94 per cent) cited at least one positive aspect of being at home, with family time (49 per cent) being reported most frequently. The same number cited at least one negative aspect wherein isolation (26 per cent), and work-life balance (24 per cent) were most common.

While almost all consumers (95 per cent) surveyed are willing to wait out the continued restrictions, only 61 per cent agree with the continued lockdown measures, signalling an eagerness to resume life per normal.

The survey found a growing social consciousness reflected in the importance consumers placed on staff treatment (77 per cent).

Shopping behaviour, preferences

During the lockdown, 58 per cent of consumers increased their online shopping frequency, while three quarters (74 per cent) cited an intention to change their future shopping habits – with Indian and Singaporean consumers reporting the strongest intention.

With respect to categories, consumers reported an increase in purchase frequency for groceries (36 per cent buying more) and media (26 per cent buying more), while clothing (65 per cent not buying or buying less) and home improvements (60 per cent not buying or buying less) faced the steepest decline.

Local business finds support

Local retail has amassed support from consumers during Covid-19 with 60 per cent preferring to engage with small businesses and online retailers over national retailers. While 75 per cent said that they support small businesses in their respective capacities. Among all countries surveyed, Indian consumers (88 per cent) were the most likely to support small businesses.

Nitin Singhal, India Head, Digital Experience Business, Adobe, said in the official release: “As consumer behaviour and preferences shift in the current environment, it has become critical for brands to reorient their customer engagement and communication strategies. With digital emerging as a primary channel for conducting business, it will be imperative for organisations to invest in Customer Experience Management (CXM) and develop agile online engagement models which are adaptable to the evolving market situation and the resulting consumer concerns — to unlock lasting success”.

“Companies have to work in a smarter way, they need to make sure that their customer experiences — whether digital, mobile, website, etc., are fine-tuned to an extent that the customer does not need to reach out to someone else. Vistara is reviewing its direct channels – discussing with our service providers including Adobe to understand the best way to re-orient this. All these small steps go towards creating the overall experience and trust,” said Vinod Kannan, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara.

Conducted by Advanis, a research firm, for Adobe, the study surveyed 4,001 consumers in selected Asia Pacific (APAC) countries – Australia, China, India and Singapore between June 1 and June 17, 2020.

Published on August 13, 2020

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