The report talks about ways in which marketers can navigate this change in consumer behaviour
- Kantar’s COVID-19 Barometer tracks people’s attitudes, behaviours and expectations across more than 50 markets.
- Persistent safety concerns, financial pressures and sticky new behaviours mean consumers will not return to pre-pandemic behaviour any time soon.
- Marketers will need to pivot to finding growth in recession; delivering increasing value in the short-term to address growing economic concerns while innovating their way to sustained relevancy as behaviours and priorities change long-term.
Persistent safety concerns, financial pressures and sticky new behaviours mean consumers will not return to pre-pandemic behaviour any time soon. Marketers will need to pivot to finding growth in recession; delivering increasing value in the short-term to address growing economic concerns while innovating their way to sustained relevancy as behaviours and priorities change long-term. These are the findings from the fifth wave of
Post-pandemic recovery delayed
Only one third of people (37%) expect to return to non-essential
In the short-term brands and retailers need to prove their value
As the financial impact of the crisis becomes increasingly apparent, across the world consumers consistently speak of a sense of pride in finding value, making smart decisions, and quietly enabling their own long-term success. 53% of consumers are paying more attention to products on sale (vs 36% in wave1). Offering discounts and promotions is now the third highest expectation of brands, (vs 5th in wave 2). 69% of consumers say a shopping list is more important now globally as well as in India. Beyond pricing strategies, consumers expect brands to keep advertising and acknowledge the crisis; three in four (74%) are happy with the volume of advertising, and only 14% want to see pre-pandemic ‘normal’ advertising. Two thirds of consumers are looking for help and advice - for themselves (64%) and their communities (65%) in the adverts they see and in actual brand behaviour. In India too, more than half of consumers would like to see lot more of advertising which shows what brands are doing to help the community (57%) and the people themselves (54%).
Grocery stores are recognised as delivering value in the short term. 40% of consumers globally and 60% in India perceive their grocery store experience to be more positive while 69% perceive employees to be friendly and helpful and grocery stores to be acting on their promises; both metrics significantly outperforming CX benchmarks. Ecommerce usage continues to soar. 40% (vs 33% in wave 3) of consumers now say they have increased or significantly increased their online purchasing, rising to 48% for households with children and millennial households. India too shows a positive trend for Ecommerce usage (45% vs 40%) in Wave 3). Low pricing and promotions rank as the biggest reasons.
Innovate to align with the new rhythms of life
People have started to like their lockdown habits. More than half (52%, 57% Millennial, 55% GenZ believe they will maintain lockdown behaviours post-pandemic. In India too, (53%, 56% Millennial, 61% - 35+ year olds) likely to maintain behaviours adopted during the pandemic. Increased hygiene, healthier eating, spending time with the family and personal development are most likely to be maintained. More than half the world (51%) now claim to be trying to exercise more. These changes all lead to different needs and spending patterns, and with more than half the world also feeling financial pressure, brands need to ensure their products make the cut in being considered vital in the new rhythms of life. This is amplified by the increase in willingness to switch. 45% (rising to 50%+ of households with kids) of consumers say they are prepared to keep using products and online stores they found while in lockdown.
Soumya Mohanty, Chief Client Officer, South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar, said “Indians are still in the phase between a lockdown and unlock. Some habits are starting to stick – eating healthy, hygiene while new ones around social distancing are emerging. The way we shop and interact will change but in an emerging, aspirational market the meaning of sustainability and responsible consumption differs. Brands will need to move from emotional succour and social solidarity to fundamentals of value, functionality, innovative delivery and simple mental availability. Simplicity could well be the new mantra as we navigate an uncertain world.”
Commenting on the findings