Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically over the past two months, but what will it look like in the future, post COVID-19?
To help answer that question, Potentiate, in association with TEG Insights, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,042 Australians to understand how they anticipate their behaviour will change in the coming months as lockdown conditions ease.
What the study found was that, by and large, Australians want - and currently expect - their behaviours to go back to a pre-COVID world. In turn, sectors that have experienced an upturn due to changed consumer behaviours, may be in for a bumpy ride once conditions normalise.
One of the areas where this is most apparent is retail online shopping. A third of respondents acknowledged they had been shopping more online during COVID-19 but the majority anticipated that their online shopping behaviour would return to more normal levels once restrictions were eased. Only 1 in 10 planned to shop online more than they did pre-COVID.
The food delivery sector, which is also experiencing a massive uplift during COVID-19, is expected to decline post pandemic with 18% of people saying they anticipate using food delivery services less.
In terms of overall spending, the majority of people (55%) said they are currently spending less during the lockdown period with a third of respondents delaying ‘big ticket’ purchases. 24% said that their spending hadn’t changed during lockdown and don’t expect it to change once restrictions are eased.
After restrictions are lifted, the most popular activity that people are looking forward to is getting outdoors. Eating out is also appealing although the majority wanted to wait at least one month before doing so.
Looking further afield, in 4+ months’ time, people are looking forward to being able to travel, primarily internationally but also domestically. In the immediate future, however, travel is the last thing on their minds. In fact, over a third of respondents said they didn’t know if, or when, they would feel comfortable travelling internationally again.
In relation to returning to work, not surprisingly, health precautions, social distancing and flexibility are key considerations for employees. 81% anticipated that there should be more health precautions and 68% felt strongly that there should be social distancing once back at work. Interestingly, more people opposed than supported wearing a mask at work with only 22% of respondents saying they expected to wear a mask.
Having some degree of flexibility is also important, with more than half of participants requiring this. Furthermore, 40% of employees are keen to travel less, and 14% of people want to continue working from home once lockdown restrictions have eased.
Potentiate Global CEO, Peter Harris says, “Despite the turbulent times, it is understandable that Australians have a strong desire to get back to life as we knew it. With consumer behaviour expected to shift post pandemic, it is more important than ever for businesses to understand their value proposition and ensure that it meets their customers’ needs.”
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