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Shift in consumer behaviour post-lockdown

By Andrea Byrne


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New research provided by Bazaarvoice, the Behaviour that Sticks report, explores global shopping habits and trends likely to continue post-lockdown.

Globally, 39 percent of consumers purchased from new brands during lockdown and 88 percent of consumers plan to stick with the new brands they have tried during lockdown.

New brands discovered during lockdown

In the UK, 46 percent of consumers shopped online once a week during lockdown, with 1 in 5 making multiple purchases a week. Results showed that 62 percent of Gen Z tested out new product options, compared to 25 percent of the over 65s.

In spite of the reopening of retail and more shops being made available, only 12 percent of Brits plan to go back to their shopping choices pre-lockdown, even though 44 percent only tried a new brand because their preferred one was unavailable.

The shoppers who are switching back to their previous brand are only doing so because 18 percent believe they are more expensive, and 15 percent want a more sustainable option.

A rise in subscriptions

1 in 5 UK consumers turned to subscription services as non-essential stores closed during lockdown. 80 percent of consumers once having tried the brand will continue their subscription post-lockdown as 52 percent of those believe the product is quality, 45 percent enjoy the ease of the service and 32 percent have experienced reliable delivery.

For younger consumers (18-34-year olds), 15 percent said the availability of ratings and reviews was a reason to remain loyal to a subscription.

Increase in digital shopping

31 percent of UK consumers put price as an important factor in any purchases they will make in the next three months and the ability to purchase online is also a key factor at 23 percent, meaning that retailers need an accessible e-commerce platform.

Television remains as one of the least important factors for influencing consumers with only 4 percent being swayed by this. 15 percent of consumers are more likely to be persuaded to purchase from seeing positive reviews and product ratings from other shoppers.

During lockdown, 35 percent of Gen Z and 34 percent of Millennials used a brand app, while 34 percent utilised chat-bots to connect with sales associates before purchasing.

The future of shopping habits

The changing consumer behaviour has caused a shift in the retail industry. Before the end of October, 80 percent of UK consumers said they were most likely to purchase online, 74 percent said that as of the moment online shopping is all they feel comfortable with and 41 percent of consumers admitted they would feel comfortable shopping in stores.

52 percent of consumers said they still feel unsure about entering stores as they don’t trust them to remain clean, while 39 percent feel transparency of safety and protocol is critical to feel comfortable.

Suzin Wold, senior vice president of marketing at Bazaarvoice, said in a statement: “Amazon has been one of the big winners of the last few months, but the opportunity for other brands to win loyalty from new customers as people’s habits change is huge. The success of subscription services reflects the rapid digital evolution we have experienced this year.

“Younger consumers are some of the most powerful influencers and their use of social plays a large part in enabling customers to share experiences that credit these brands. In addition, their reliance on ratings and reviews content only highlights the enormous opportunity brands have to use the voice of the customer to create more meaningful shopper experiences, which ultimately results in more sales and customer loyalty.

“Retailers and brands must stay in tune with consumers’ priorities over the coming months and ensure they provide store and product information that instils confidence in shoppers. As consumers return in-store, the use of technology to connect online and offline and provide shoppers with product information before they visit will be important. An omni-channel approach not only enables a stronger connection with consumers but also creates a seamless experience.”

This survey was carried out by Savanta research in July 2020 where 8,062 consumers were asked about their motivators and barriers to purchase, across Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK and US.

Photo credit: Fashion Cloud

Bazaarvoice Inc.