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The consumers and Covid 19 pandemic

Fast-moving burger counters, queue-rich apparel trial rooms, zero-vacant movie halls. While the world awaits those good old days, let us have a look at the consumer sentiments during COVID pandemic. Will it affect the post Covid performance of industries? Will it hit the brands badly? Who will rule and who will face the heat? 

It is true that consumer behaviour is settling into a new normal and people are learning to live with the reality of COVID-19. There is cut in expenses, but it can not be taken as a sign of permanent consumer mute on spending, experts say.

 Human history is all about quick revival and resurgence. We have survived massive tragedies from the time immemorial including pandemics, world wars, riots and natural calamities. Our race has the power to return fast, learning from the past looking for a better and brighter future.  However, months-long lockdown and the following economic crisis have given a massive impact on consumer sentiments. The overall impact can be shortlisted as :- 

  • Confidence about economic recovery has dipped
  • Spending shifted largely to essentials
  • Offline sales dropped
  • Supply-chain disruption caused shock to brand loyalty
  • Trust gets a ‘hygiene’ factor

 Brands need to re-strategize to face the post COVID period to keep the customer base as new normal is getting ready to set in. Contactless shopping will get more attention and online sales will be having a boost for any industry. Mindful spending will stay here for a long post-COVID period due to the hangover of the pandemic. Brands should prepare to face the facts and play accordingly to keep the register ringing. 

According to studies, Consumers in China and India remain more optimistic than their counterparts in the rest of Asia, Europe, or the United States. Export business to Asian countries seems to be brighter post COVID. ‘Essentials’ will be having an essential part in these regions when it comes to business. Groceries and household products will be having a smooth run, irrespective of the slowdown. 

FMCG market should focus on ‘hygiene’ quotient to expand the customer base as people have turned more health conscious. From packaging to transportation, strategies should be ‘sanitized’ to safeguard the brand value and sales graph. 

As per global surveys, 25% people will prefer less expensive products to save money. There is a chance to shift to cheaper brands by this segment. Higher income groups will not shift to cheaper segments and they will go with the existing favorite brands. 

Post COVID period will witness a substantial hike in automobile sales, as per the forecast. People will prefer private vehicles due to safety concerns and this segment can excel with consumer-friendly strategies. Small and medium segment vehicles will be having much demand compared to luxury segments. 

Content on demand and OTT platforms will rule the entertainment industry and the segment is already reaping the benefit of the stay-at-home situation. Netflix has already added 16 million subscribers around the globe since March 2020 and Amazon Prime has witnessed 34% growth during this period. Entertainment industry will be having new players streaming high quality content, globally. 

The show must go on, and it will.

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