Successful businesses have always known the importance of aligning their operations with trending consumer behaviours. As society progresses, the needs and expectations of consumers often adjust as well. From new information becoming accessible to the growth of social influence, there are numerous reasons for why we might change the way we consume. The outbreak of COVID-19 will have an enduring impact on our society and economy and has already altered the way many of us shop. It is likely that consumers will still be convenience-driven however, there is a new significant focus on health and safety. This will be even more apparent in the food industry. To maintain competitiveness, grocers and other food outlets will have to ensure not just convenience, but also the well-being of their customers.
Online ordering and e-commerce
Online shopping was adopted by many long before the pandemic, but with countries going into lockdown it meant everyone had to get on board with e-commerce. Those who were unfamiliar with shopping online were forced to give it go, and many liked it. Having your food delivered or ready for a quick curbside pick-up was not only convenient but also safe. Many brick and mortar stores have postponed the ability to pay with cash, centring on contactless payments. Cash can travel through so many different hands whereas contactless payment methods require no hand to hand exchange. With many realizing the ease of contactless and online shopping the growth of this trend is inevitable.
Save and stockpile
COVID-19 has meant many have had to reprioritize what they spent their money on while also reinforcing the importance of saving for the unexpected. Although we are seeing fewer empty aisles, consumers are still looking to make fewer trips to the grocery stores. This means shoppers may tend to stock up or make bigger orders all in one go. Businesses are going to have to manage their inventory carefully so that they can have the in-demand items readily available. Food shopping will always be a necessity, but for many, cutting back on luxury items and sticking with basics is a new reality.
Businesses and even individuals are being held to a new standard. During these tentative times, consumers are interested in hearing how companies are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, consumers may expect brands to shift their business priorities and resources in response to current challenges. Buying preferences could be affected by how businesses act during these times.
The pandemic is having an enormous impact on daily life across the world which is why we are seeing a change in consumer consumption. Many businesses have done well to adapt and meet the needs of their customers but will have to stay vigilant as there is still a level of hesitation on what comes next.