The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many of the key consumer trends that retailers need to consider as they strive to make their businesses more resilient.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant challenge that consumer businesses have faced for decades. While food retailers have largely benefited from the pandemic, especially during periods of lockdown, non-food retailers are only beginning to make a slow recovery from the impact of coronavirus-related restrictions. Online retail is winning the battle to adapt, with double-digit growth rates in the second quarter of 2020.
40% of European consumers have experienced a decrease in household income because of the pandemic. As a result, 38% plan to reduce their spending over the next few months. Consumers in the countries that have been most severely affected by the pandemic are particularly determined to spend less: 56% in Spain, 43% in the UK, and 42% in Italy. This means discretionary spending will be postponed or avoided altogether, and consumers will look for cheaper offers.
COVID-19 has sped up changes in the way people live, work and shop. This creates opportunities for retailers and consumer goods companies to capitalise on accelerating consumer trends. Lessons from the 2007-08 financial crisis suggest that some of the behavioural changes we have seen during this pandemic will persist in the future.
In this article, we share our thoughts about how COVID-19 has impacted consumer trends. Our insights are based on consumer research that we conducted in seven European countries before and after the outbreak of the coronavirus.
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