shopping with masks

In its ongoing tracking of consumer behavior amid the coronavirus pandemic, EY’s latest future consumer index states the world is still far from post-pandemic normality.

Trying on clothes in-store, travel and in-person services, for example, have been found to be worrisome activities for many consumers. EY’s data further found that 41 percent of consumers still feel uncomfortable about going out to eat and 45 percent of consumers plan to keep their home stocked with groceries, cleaning supplies and other household staples. Additionally, 26 percent of consumers told the company it will take years before they consider attending a concert or entertainment event.

Global consumers are also more aware of how they spend money today. In its report, EY found 61 percent of all consumers reporting they will “be more aware and cautious about their spending.” And at the same time, 54 percent of consumers say price is a more important criteria than it was compared to even a month ago and 60 percent of consumers said they will be more focused on value for money in the future. To illustrate, 48 percent of consumers also say they want to postpone making purchase or replacement of “big-ticket items” such as automobiles, furniture and appliances, until after the pandemic has ended.

EY’s index also notes that some consumer behaviors have been altered out of necessity. This includes changing brands when others were unavailable. According to EY, this has caused consumers to become more willing to consider private labels more widely and sometimes reflect on if spending on a premium brand is worth the cost.

Notably, EY data shows that even those consumers who desire to prioritize experience or put the planet or society first have shown high interest in private label products. According to the company, the index suggests that as more consumers shift focus onto price they may be less willing to pay premium costs for most other attributes.

Still, as price becomes increasingly important to consumers EY reports brands can continue to keep consumer interest by delivering superior products that speak to other changing consumer behaviors. Data shows that consumers increasingly prioritize company values and 39 percent plan to buy more from organizations that benefit society, even if those products and services are more expensive.

For More WWD Business News:

Adobe’s Digital Economic Index Shows Slow Return to Brick-and-Mortar

Survey Shows Pandemic-Driven Changes in Consumer Behavior

Studies Find Majority of Consumers are Altering Purchase Behaviors Amid COVID-19

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