online shopping

The pandemic has changed consumer behaviour – and online shopping looks set to stay

How the pandemic has changed consumer behaviour and online shopping trends, according to researches.

In General

Billions of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are driving a “historic and dramatic shift in consumer behaviour” – according to the latest research from PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers).
The consulting and accounting firm’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey reports a strong shift to online shopping. That’s because people were first confined by lockdowns, and then many continued to work from home. Other trends in this shift include digital consumption. Online shoppers are keen to find the best price, choosing more healthy options and trying shopping locally where possible.
Another significant finding from the report is that consumers do not think they’ll go back to their old ways of shopping once the pandemic is over.

A turn to digital services and devices

A PwC’s survey with more than 8,600 people across 22 territories shows a consumer pivot to digital sevices and devices. More specifically, the responders said that had used digital devices more frequently than they had six months earlier. Furthermore, the report also finds the use of smartphones for shopping has more than doubled since 2018.

Medicines and groceries on demand

Another survey of US consumers by McKinsey & Company gives a more detailed breakdown of the shift to digital shopping channels. As a result, it is affecting the kinds of purchases consumers are making.
The survey found a 15-30% overall growth in consumers who made purchases online across a broad range of product categories. Many of the categories see a double-digit percentage growth in online shopping intent, led by over-the-counter medicines, groceries, household supplies and personal care products.
And McKinsey noted that “consumer intent to shop online [post-pandemic] continues to increase, especially in essentials and home-entertainment categories”.

A decline in brand loyalty

With consumers shopping from their homes, another trend flagged up by McKinsey is a marked decline in brand loyalty.
In total, 75% of US consumers have tried a new shopping behaviour and over a third of them (36%) have tried a new product brand. In part, this trend has been driven by popular items being out of stock as supply chains became strained at the height of the pandemic. However, 73% of consumers who had tried a different brand said they would continue to seek out new brands in the future.

Source: WorldEconomicForum

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