Coronavirus outbreak has forced many U.S. consumers to change their shopping preferences. While many shoppers are still loyal to the brands they like, COVID-19 is driving an even greater change in mindsets. This shift effects the type of goods and brands consumers can purchase and the shopping channels they use.
Looking ahead, it is vital to understand potential long-term outcomes related to consumer behavior amid Covid-19.
Staying heathy and helping keep others alive is the number one priority right now. A recent survey in the US shows that stores and workplaces having extra cleaning processes and requiring physical distancing behavior.
Regular healthcare is on hold – or going online. Even as healthcare systems become overwhelmed with coronavirus pandemic patients, other health problems are still in place.
Jesus Mantus, Managing Partner, IBM Global Business Services, in the conversation with Dean DeBiase, says that having virtual agents in place, has considerably changed all the processes in many sectors. They have used the algorithms in hospitals where they translated the actual medical protocols at the peak of COVID-19. The same applies to different industries and markets
Technology is helping people in many ways during lockdown conditions. Online purchasing, video streaming, and social media usage have skyrocketed. Cultural venues such as museums and theaters are turning to live-streaming, not to mention religious services.
Online shopping experience
Concerns about safety & hygiene are driving many shoppers deeper into e-commerce. As of mid-April, 30% of Americans said they were buying online in order to avoid going to a physical store.
US consumers are accelerating adoption of digital channels. Most C-suite executives have led their companies to digitize through robust technical infrastructure, heavily investing in AI/AR analytics, digital product offerings and recommendations and online initiatives.
Covid-19 Consumer behavior will be the new normal
After the coronavirus pandemic life will emerge as a new normal. Life will go on as usual, but slightly changed. Some health behaviors may be permanently altered. Some technology solutions activated during the crisis will become ‘deep-rooted’.
According to IBM study of more than 25,000 U.S., the results have shown that U.S. consumers respondents aim to make meaningful changes in the way they go about their life routine in the outbreak of the virus.
"The study provides further evidence that COVID-19 is permanently altering U.S. consumer behavior. There are long term implications of the new consumer behaviors for industries like retail, transportation, and travel among others. These organizations need to quickly adapt their business models to serve the new consumer behaviors in order to survive and thrive," said Jesus Mantas, Senior Managing Partner, IBM Services.
IBM stated that nearly 40 percent of consumers said they are likely to use contactless payment via their devices or credit card when shopping. Moreover, around 75 percent of surveyed indicate they are visiting stores to buy essential goods (food, household & cleaning products).
According to the study conducted, the priority is on shopping local for those surveyed customers– with around 25 percent of respondents indicating they are now shopping more often at locally owned stores and buying more local made, grown or sourced products.