Consumer behaviour undergoing paradigm shift due to pandemic: EY Report

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Updated: Aug 14, 2020 12:06 AM

Around 70 per cent of the population continues to grapple with "fear and anxiety" and the consumer mindset is largely "negative and cautious", according to a study 'Life in a pandemic' by EY.

E-commerce spends surpass pre-COVID-19 levels post lockdown in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru: ReportThe pandemic has made most people more comfortable with spending on online services which is likely to continue to post the pandemic. (Representational image)

Indian consumers are undergoing a fundamental change in behaviour driven by health, privacy and hyper-localisation, says a report by consultancy firm EY.

Around 70 per cent of the population continues to grapple with “fear and anxiety” and the consumer mindset is largely “negative and cautious”, according to a study ‘Life in a pandemic’ by EY.

“Due to the pandemic, people are becoming health conscious — 80 per cent of the respondents are improving their eating habits, 56 per cent are engaging in housework and 33 per cent are doing workouts,” it said.

The findings are based on the survey responses of 2,033 consumers across the urban, adult population across India.

As many as “94.5 per cent of the working respondents have settled into a virtual working environment and 40 per cent are positive about working from home”, it said.

Factors such as no commute, relatively healthier living and somewhat higher productivity levels are contributing to the rising comfort levels with work from home.

The pandemic has made most people more comfortable with spending on online services which is likely to continue to post the pandemic.

“Online services are increasingly being adopted for fitness, education and utilities like banking, groceries and bill payments,” it added.

Moreover, people are becoming health conscious because of the pandemic, it said.

The study said 80 per cent of the respondents are improving their eating habits, 56 per cent are engaging in housework and 33 per cent are doing workouts. There is a greater focus on maintaining healthier relationships with friends, family and the community, it said.

The EY said 78 per cent of the respondents “are constantly in touch with their friends and family through video/audio calls. The adoption rate of digital services is increasing and enabling people to feel safe and connected”.

Commenting on the findings, EY India Partner – Customer Experience and Design Thinking Shashank Shwet said there is a clear paradigm shift in consumer behaviour towards online, even in traditionally offline categories.

“To win in adversity, companies need to tailor strategies to today’s unique context. Brands that will be nimble enough to capture the pulse of these changes, make timely alterations to their modus operandi and add digital and convenience as a service will thrive in these unprecedented scenarios,” he said.

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