The COVID-19 pandemic has flipped the lives of people upside down in many ways. While the consumer-facing industry is looking for ways to keep things going, the lockdown and quarantine times have already forced people to evolve as consumers.
In order to help the industry understand consumer behaviour and sentiment, London-based multinational professional services firm, Ernst & Young created EY Future Consumer Index.
Lately, the company carried out the first edition of the EY Future Consumer Index. It’s a survey of 4,859 people tracking consumer sentiment and behaviour across the US, Canada, the UK, France and Germany.
And according to the survey, four consumer behaviour trends emerge during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Cut deep
- Stay calm, carry on
- Save and stockpile
- Hibernate and spend
Consumers that fall into the “Cut deep” segment (27.3%) are spending less across all expense categories as the pandemic impacts employment; others representing the “Stay calm, carry on” category are continuing to spend as normal (26.2%). Most consumers (35.1%) represent the “Save and stockpile” segment, indicating that they feel pessimistic about the future, while consumers that fall into the “Hibernate and spend” segment (11.4%) are spending more across the board.
Overall, 42% of respondents believe that the way they shop will fundamentally change as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. When it comes to brands and products, 34% of consumers indicate that they would pay more for local products, 25% for trusted brands and 23% for ethical products.
“Looking beyond the immediate effects of COVID-19, few consumers expect to revert to pre-crisis behaviours any time soon. In these uncertain times, no one knows how long the transition will take or whether different consumer trends will emerge,” said Kristina Rogers, EY Global Consumer Leader.
Furthermore, over the coming months, the EY Future Consumer Index, paired with analysis around the EY FutureConsumer.Now, will continue to provide a perspective on the changing consumer and help consumer-facing companies stay relevant and plan for the future. And more countries will be included as the analysis continues.