New Delhi: The post Covid-19 world will sway shopping behaviour of millions of households as the pandemic pushes shoppers to buy more goods online, stock up on food and groceries, and ensure safety and hygiene practices in their lives.
In a survey conducted by Capgemini Research Institute across 11,000 consumers globally, including India, findings suggest that consumers will seek convenience in the form of online shopping going forward; moreover concerns around health and safety will become paramount as “they will expect safer in-store and last-mile practices".
The Institute that surveyed consumers from April 4–8 noted said that close to half (48%) of global respondents are optimistic about recovery from the current crisis in the next six months especially those in China, and India. “Looking at sentiment over the next six months, optimism is particularly high in China and India," the report said. At the time the survey was conducted, India reported lower impact numbers than the other countries, which can be related to high optimism levels, according to findings of the survey.
Going forward the pandemic is likely to also alter shopping behavior--signs of which are already visible in the way consumers are stocking up on essential groceries while they defer out-of-home purchases and high-end grooming products.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the consumer products and retail industry to review its core markets and operating model," Capgemini Research Institute said as part of its findings. As a result, the sector will have to reassess consumer preferences. Many of these shifts in consumption habits are likely to stick around, it said.
In urban India, those surveyed said that over the next six to nine months their need for online shopping will increase from 46% to 64%, indicating that India’s shoppers, typically used to visiting local markets, will buy more items online.
Moreover, the findings of the survey noted that urban Indian consumers will decrease their shopping at physical stores. Over 46% of Indians will shop at physical retail stores compared to 59% of Indian consumers who shopped at physical retail stores before the pandemic.
Over 70% of urban Indian consumers will prefer to purchase items from retailers that offer home-delivery and provide compensation for future cancellations going forward. Nearly 90% of those surveyed in India said they will be more cautious about issues of cleanliness, health and safety post Covid-19-- a trend that is already prompting packaged goods companies to launch more hygiene and cleaning products. They will also use more digital payments, with 78% of Indian consumers showing preference for such modes of payment going forward.
The survey also noted that consumer spending patterns across categories is shifting dramatically. More consumers globally reported that they increased spends on groceries and at-home entertainment.
Going forward, 65% respondents in India said they are likely to increase purchase of groceries and food supplies over the next six to nine months as uncertainty over the future prevails. The number is up from the current 51% of shoppers who said they have increased their purchase of food and groceries currently. Over 60% said they are also likely to buy household supplies over the next six to nine months; while 59% said they will stock up on personal care products. Interestingly, 47% of shoppers said they will buy more furniture and home improvement goods after 64% of those surveyed said they had reduced the purchase of such items, indicating a pent up demand for such goods that are currently not available as they are non-essential items.
Similarly, 63% of those surveyed said they have currently reduced purchase of consumer electronics and white goods, with 48% of them looking at increasing their expenses on such items over the next six to nine months. Roughly half of those surveyed will buy more apparel and accessories; while 46% said they are likely to spend more on alcohol beverages over the next six to nine months.