Post Covid-19: Consumer Behavior Redefined

Rahul Sinha

While we have seen the consumers sitting at home and ordering food and groceries online, we had also witnessed how the lockdown had resulted in panic buying and hoarding of essential goods. There has been a re-establishment of certain trends in the consumer behavior across the world, which may not change in the near future.

We have noticed a tendency of unprecedented preferences shift due to the pandemic. The prevailing circumstances have changed the game much faster than we could have imagined. The E-commerce industry has re-emerged amidst the pandemic. The malls, shops/local stores and the vendors have also incurred huge losses. We have also noticed that hygiene has started to play an important role in determining the consumers motivation after the pandemic. The more a shop or entity invests on hygiene-oriented technology, the more number of consumers it will attract. The consumers want extra re-assurance to resume day-to-day activities outside their homes. People are spending on essential and non-discretionary category goods. Luxury goods and non-essential goods market has seen a downward slope in sales. Brands are widening their product range to satisfy the essential needs of the consumers to recover from the losses that the brands have incurred during the lockdown. We have also seen brands shutting down outlets, implementing pay cut and reducing the number of employees to cope-up with the prevailing situation.

We must admit that COVID-19 functioned as a catalyst for the MSME’s. The MSME’s have grasped a lot of attention from the government authorities and the economic advisors. The Atmanirbhar Bharat Plan, which had been revealed by the ministry during the lockdown, clearly states a dedicated amount for the welfare and development of the sector. Various local brands have been promised to receive consumer and government support under the campaign of “Vocal about Local” launched by our prime minister, Shri. Narendra Modi, under this campaign local brands are considered to be prioritized.

The behavior of the consumers is directly or indirectly influenced by social and cultural norms. While various religious and cultural gatherings have been called-off, the income opportunities for various households have also been disrupted. As a result of the prevailing vulnerability due to the unstable economic conditions, there is a lower spending at retail. Brands must focus on optimism rather than thinking about profits.

The Cinema theatres are to remain shut for an indefinite period of time, this opportunity has undeniably been utilized by companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney + etc. Various entertainment service providers have seen a hike in the number of subscriptions due to the pandemic, Netflix has reached 15.8 million paid subscribers from January through the month of March and estimates an increase of 7 million more subscribers by the end of June.

We must conclude by saying that online purchasing is the new and prominent channel for consumer buying, which is moving in a positive direction. Consumers have now turned towards delivery services for restaurant and grocery services, whereas the luxury goods purchases have continued to fall, which has reduced the global discretionary spending.

Rahul Sinha is a BA Economics (Honours) student of St. Xaviers University, Kolkata.

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Jul 9, 2020

Rahul Sinha

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