Covid has affected our lives radically since its early detection in 2019. From socialising, working, all the way through to business operations. And because of how long we endured the pandemic, naturally, as humans we acclimatised to situations or stressors (condition of balance, or stability, within a biological system…”, Jurmain et al 2013: 322) such as this. 
Covid-19 has shaped us and helped us transform as new individuals. We continue to form new habits, our behaviour changes as well as how we spend, consume, or entertain ourselves. It has influenced us to move forward to support a better future. Businesses have also worked around the situation and pushed harder to meet consumer needs which includes their changing behaviour. 
Here, we list some of the ways Covid-19 has changed consumer behaviour.
1. Consumers are more focused on health and wellbeing
According to Colin Stewart, Executive Vice-President, Business Intelligence-Acosta, consumers have heightened their focus on the latest health and wellness trends and that about two-thirds of them take a preemptive approach to healthy living. He also said that while today’s shoppers are motivated to live a healthy lifestyle, the price of eating a healthy diet has barred them from doing so. Because of that, retailers were challenged to open their doors to become a reliable resource among the health-conscious consumers who are starting to look past medical professionals for guidance on inexpensive and reasonable purchase advice and product suggestions. It then creates an opportunity for these retailers to knock into opportunities to offer health and wellness solutions tailored to current consumer needs.
He also added, “COVID-19’s acceleration of the self-care trend has created an opportunity for retailers to significantly expand sales and drive shopper loyalty.”
2. Rise of Direct-to-Consumer Markets
Depending on how we look at it, every challenge presents an opportunity and this time that challenge is presented through this pandemic. Businesses have pivoted to business-to-consumer marketing which bypasses third-party sellers, wholesalers, and other middlemen.
According to Marcus Startzel, Whitebox’s CEO: “What has become abundantly clear is that the world has changed, and consumer shopping habits and behaviours have changed right along with it.”
People find themselves buying essential and non-essential commodities online instead of going to local stores or supermarkets. Businesses operating on traditional and direct-to-business have reevaluated themselves and acted, and sadly, those who were not quick to adapt have suffered the most.
3. Change in consumer brand loyalty
What was also observed from this pandemic is that consumers become less picky with their shopping items like toiletries, hygienic kits, and cleaning supplies. When consumers find these items out of stock from their go-to brands, they move to other brands in pursuit of these items.
According to the McKinsey report: “Aside from value, convenience and availability are most often cited as top drivers of consumers’ decisions about where to shop, while quality and purpose (desire to support local businesses, for example) are the more important considerations when choosing new brands.”
4. Consumers take time before shopping
Some advantages come with the pandemic. People are more aware of how they spend their money. Consumers cut back on spending on clothes, jewellery or on things they won’t need immediately and divert their budget to buy the essentials like groceries and household items. As Red Rooster’s Miller said, that similar to after the Great Recession, consumers will be looking for bargains for quite some time and will think twice before buying a new pair of shoes.
Because of what’s happening, businesses have worked their way around this situation and as an example, in some countries, retailers of clothes and accessories are now selling fashionable masks and PPEs or items that people need right now.
5. Consumers will value face-to-face interaction
Despite the rapid shift from offline to online interactions, we have that deep longing to go back to our normal lives.
As we think about it, consumers miss the face-to-face interaction, we all do, and once people are out of lockdowns, they will value that experience even more. As the famous proverb says, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. We grow fonder of people once we have grown apart from them, hence they will tend to invest in the relationship when they see risks of it weakening.  This time, the relationship can be attributed to going out. 😊
Let us make sure that when we can all go back to going out, we give our consumers the best experience they can take with them to remember us and stay loyal to our brand.
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