COVID-19: Impact on Consumers

Article contributed by Mr Manish Uprety, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Commerce and Business Management

In the last two months we have seen a lot of changes due to COVID-19,  during this time there were many measures which were taken due to which economy has seen the disruptions, and this have also transformed the consumers’ preferences, expectations and their buying behaviour.

Earlier the way we use do meet people and the way we use to shop has changed significantly, and  so as the part of society and as a part of any  business as we all are called consumer; we have changed our mindset for buying in different. The  class to which we belong accordingly we have changed our buying habits and also changed our preferences to buy the products. At this time the companies have to rethink about their products and the class to which they target,  in order to change their selling strategies. And moreover here we have to again consider our bottom of the pyramid as looking at the buying capacity might have gone down, so as making strategies accordingly.

Affect of COVID-19 on the way consumer spending

Save and stockpile Cut deep Stay calm, carry on Hibernate and spend
35 27 26 11

The above four segments are suggested in one of the study done during this crisis. This study suggests almost 62%people among us are either not spending much and stopped their spending as they earlier used to do, or making their investments to stockpiling the goods for their future uses,  around 11% people are most concerned about the impact of pandemic.

Many among us are nowadays talking that post COVID-19 we will be on virtual platforms, but till what extent it will be gained is a big question, as the structure of our country’s society 2/3 rd of the population still live in rural area and fulfilling their requirement through market places there it will be a big question and the contribution in sales of many companies from rural is as much as 40% of their total sales. Further it can be seen that the urban consumer have changed the way they use to shop, many of the have started shopping from virtual platforms for them more consumer friendly and attractive platforms are required be created.

The impact of this situation can be seen as follows-

  • The buying habits of the consumers are changing and this is going to prevail in the consumers for a long time even after the pandemic.
  • Consumers nowadays are buying only those goods which are required for their survival and which are produced locally.
  • In order to maintain social distancing people are using various digital means to connect and this is going to remain in future.

Role of advertising in this new normal

Presently as the people are spending more time on TV and this is a good sign to the advertising industry. During this time viewership of television has gone up by almost 40%, whereas the viewership of the channels like DD national and DD Bharti has gone up by almost 300%. There are few more exiting statics like the much hyped IPL tournament gets a rating of maximum around 4, whereas in this duration the serials like Ramayana and Mahabharata had the rating of 6 to 16. There was also one study which was carried out that when there is not much demand and in the situations like this pandemic the companies who had not curtailed much on their communications has gained more market share in the long run as compare to those who have not spent as budgeted and curtailed their communication expenses. In these times even the costs of communications have gone down so if it is possible for the company they should continue their expenses as earlier.

References-:

https://www2.deloitte.com/in/en/pages/consumer-business/articles/following-up-on-the-immediat-economic-response.html

https://www.ey.com/en_gl/consumer-products-retail/how-covid-19-could-change-consumer-behavior

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/covid-19-impact-consumers-move-more-towards-digital/article31337127.ece

https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/consumer-goods-services/coronavirus-consumer-behavior-research

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