Traditional shopping behaviour significantly disrupted: Research

ACCORDING to Capgemini Research Institute’s note on ‘The consumer and COVID-19:  Global consumer sentiment research in the consumer products and retail industry’, traditional shopping behaviour is being significantly disrupted and transformed globally and in India amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.  Uncertainty is high and many businesses are shut, and people are concerned about recession and are keeping a closer eye on spending: customers are focusing on essential goods rather than lifestyle and leisure products.

At the same time, with lockdown measures in place across India, there has been a surge in the use of online channels.  In this fast-changing and volatile environment, how can consumer products and retail organizations drive operational resilience and maintain their pre-crisis focus on customer relationships and engagement?

To help answer those questions – and understand the impact of the pandemic on short-term and mid-term consumer behaviours,  Capgemini surveyed more than 11,000 consumers around the world including India. At the beginning of April 2020, Capgemini reached out to consumers across the US, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Spain, India, and China.

Drawing on that extensive research three key consumer trends for consumer products and retail (CPR) organisations in the short- and mid-term:

1. Convenience:  Appetite for online shopping and convenience will continue to accelerate post-lockdown

2. Health and safety: With consumers becoming more concerned about health and wellness, they will expect safer in-store and last-mile practices from CPR organizations in a post-pandemic scenario

3. Focus on purpose:  Organizations that embody a sense of purpose and strong sustainability credentials will see greater consumer engagement

Key Indian Consumer Sentiment:

  • Most of the Indian consumers’ appetite for online shopping will increase from 46 per cent in the current scenario to 64 per cent over the next six-nine months
  • In the next six-nine months, Indian consumers would decrease their shopping at physical retail stores and over 46 per cent of Indians will shop at physical retail stores as compared to 59 per cent of Indian consumers who shopped at physical retail stores before the pandemic.
  • 72 per cent of  Indian consumers will prefer to purchase from retailers which will offer delivery assurance as well as the assurance of compensation for future cancellations in the next six-nine months
  • 74 per cent  of Indian consumers will prefer to purchase from retailers offering delivery at flexible timing in the next six-nine months
  • 89 per cent of Indian consumers  will be more cautious about issues of cleanliness, health, and safety post-Covid-19 pandemic
  • 78 per cent of Indian consumer will prefer to increase usage of digital payments going ahead
  • 75 per cent of Indian consumers will purchase with retailers adopting  safety practices in stores
  • Over 65 per cent of Indian  consumers will increase the purchase of groceries and household supplies during the course of the next six-nine months
  • 75 per cent of the Indian consumer is optimistic about a recovery in the next six months compared to 48  per cent of consumers worldwide

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