Industry Analysis

COVID and Shopping Habits


COVID-19 has significantly altered the way consumers shop. Some of the biggest changes in their behavior have been observed in their switch to online shopping and their focus towards buying essential products. However, they have also switched towards buying locally-produced goods to support their communities and local shops. Electronics shopping, however, has been heavily impacted due to the pandemic, with customers saying that they will most likely decrease their spending on electronics by at least 20% in the near future.

Transition to online purchasing

  • The pandemic has caused a significant increase in online shopping spending.
  • According to Mckinsey, most categories have seen more than a 10% growth in “their online customer base during the pandemic and many consumers say they plan to continue shopping online even when brick-and-mortar stores reopen.”
  • A lot of other digital services, like curbside pickup, delivery, and drive-through services, have also experienced much higher adoption rates.
  • Another category that has seen an increase in popularity has been the online grocery shopping.
  • Online shopping has also had an effect on the use of omnichannel services like contactless payment, social commerce, and virtual consultations.

A focus on buying essential products

  • Mckinsey has reported that as a direct result of the lockdown, people have started being more mindful about what they spend their money on.
  • This has directly affected their spend on essential items such as groceries, household supplies, and entertainment. These are the only three categories that have seen an increase in the consumer spending during the pandemic.
  • This is directly caused by the decrease in the disposable income of many families.
  • According to Accenture, 33% of consumers have less disposable income compared to before the crisis, which has forced them to shop more cost consciously.
  • Consumers have even begun to limit food waste and buy more sustainable products.

A switch towards locally-produced goods

The impact on the electronics market

  • The electronics market has been highly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly because of the closing of retail shops and the disrupted supply chains, which have caused shortages in production and sales.
  • Consumers have expressed that they will most likely decrease their spend on electronics by at least 20% in the near future.
  • Despite that categories like telco products and consumer electronics have seen a recent rise in their transaction volumes in recent weeks.
  • One of the main drivers is directly related to the fact that people are still trying to stockpile on essential items.
  • A big driver for change has been the switch to online shopping, which has been able to mitigate some of the losses to the industry. Experts believe that online shopping will also be responsible for the recovery of the market as consumers will still hold some reservations towards visiting shops as often as they used to.
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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