How Will COVID-19 Will Affect Consumerism?
Published on: 09.06.2020
Sometimes it takes a happy or sad event for us as individuals to recognize that we own nothing and that we are OK with the feeling. Rarely does it take a world pandemic and prolonged lockdowns to understand that we might have more material things than what we need.
One of the countless important questions raised during the pandemic is how will it affect consumer behavior. The sure thing is that even though many countries are easing lockdown measures, COVID-19 is still present. Thus, uncertainty will be the general mood until a vaccine is found. This situation is now considered the new normal, and it’s shaping people’s behavior.
With many travel restrictions still in place and people working remotely, fewer will travel for leisure or work purposes. Given the economic uncertainty and people will tend to spend less on unessential items and save more. On the other hand, safety and health concerns will have an impact on people’s attitudes towards leisure activities such as dining out, cinemas and theaters, pools and spas, music events, etc. The majority of these activities and services will be offered online.
A recent survey on shopping trends revealed in post-COVID-19 China shows a significant shift from offline to online shopping. Online supermarkets, grocery stores, food services, streaming services saw a huge growth in sales.
Further on, the same report highlights increase shopping frenzy by livestream and community group buying. The positive aspect of this solution was related to the support that is provided to local businesses and farmers from their communities.
Finally, the reports highlight that consumers are making choices that provide good value for money. All the data generated by the feedback during the lockdown period is the basis of the consumer to manufacturer products. These types of products offer customized services. Some trends are easy to predict when it comes to post-COVID-19 consumer services. For example, women will buy more hair dye and fewer lipsticks, because they won’t need it while wearing a mask.
Besides the insights on how the coronavirus has shaped consumer trends, the silver lining from this report is that even a country that was run over by consumerism like China can change.
Going from consumerism to sustainability
The disadvantage of online shopping is that it can revert the pre-pandemic consumerist behaviors. People will not buy more clothes but they invest in athletic wear and shoes. Prolonged uncertainty can fuel panic buying over financial and employment concerns. Yet, surveys show that after the great recession, people in the United States switched to more frugal and minimal lifestyles. Overall, the pandemic increased social and individual responsibility. Consumers became more aware of supporting local enterprises or other sectors that needed help to survive the crisis. Individuals and organizations came up with innovative and sustainable solutions to face pandemic-related changes and to orient their customers towards local products and services.
What happened in your communities? What are some new consumers’ trends that you have noticed? Do you have an idea or project that contributes towards Sustainable Development Goal 12, responsible consumption and production? Join the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition if you’re an aspiring social entrepreneur willing to learn more and to improve the lives of people through innovative entrepreneurial ideas.