The effects of COVID-19
We all have faced an unexpected level of stress due to COVID-19 Pandemic. In this situation, there is a daily health concern, increasing unemployment and death rate; importantly, isolation resulted in feelings of frustration and anger. Though there is stress, people adopted various strategies to manage the effects of the Pandemic.
Since the Pandemic has reshaped our lives from how we shop, travel, work, we believe in this reorganization. It will have a significant long-lasting impact on the way businesses design products, services and engage with customers in the future periods.
Hence, our mission is to share the behavioral changes. That will be significant in shaping the Consumer Markets Sector in the future. It will serve as a guiding map for brands to start modifying their strategy, product & services, and experiences.
Given the magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis, we would like to begin by acknowledging that the post- COVID-19 world cannot be accurately predicted by any degree of analysis, research, and foresight.
Attitude behavioral change in consumers
However, we endeavor to share with you our views on the best aspects of our judgment while at the same time accepting that our understanding of markets and consumers is evolving in real-time.
The general tendency to exaggerate the performance of the impact of a crisis or a shock has not been lost on us. However, when we come to the irreversible effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we begin to see how it has changed the world economically, socially, geographically, and politically.
The outcome can significantly weigh down on the growth of a developing country like India. Despite imposing one of the strictest lockdowns on 1.3 billion people confined to their homes, India’s growth story seems to have come to a terrible halt.
An interesting fact about crises is that it stimulates us to examine our society’s social fabric, expose structural weakness in our systems, and break the definition of default.
Consumer behavior in Pandemic
A brief look at some of the defining crises in recent modern times can help know how societies respond to disruption events. Moreover, it can expose what truly matters to a population and how their lives change.
Taking a sampling of such crises that induced or triggered a shift in the mindsets or behaviors of Indian society, culminating into a form of change implemented by governments, businesses and eventually becoming the new standard – provides us a better understanding of shifting behaviors in our current context.
The awful state of affairs following the second wave of COVID-19 also shows us that we in India were not prepared. The constant gloom and doom surrounding the second wave has led to people experiencing mental health problems, including depression, stress, and anxiety, affecting consumer behavior.
Consumers Online shopping is more flexible this time
With technology becoming a part of the new nature of life, Mindell’s research shows that more than half of Indian consumers have opted for an online doctor consultation, fitness classes, and live streaming of events during the Pandemic to help them manage the restrictions.
Brands like Practo, online consultation, healthcare platforms, and HealthifyMe, health, and wellness platform, have been instrumental in helping people during this situation pandemic.
After the first wave in 2020, and once the country moderately unlocked in June 2020, India’s economy and business saw some partial growth. But, the second wave has turned around the trends of consumer preferences, and the impact on businesses is expected to be much more severe this time.
Comparing the trends between the first and second waves, here are some key insights on consumer behavior that are starting to emerge through the second wave.
One notices significant changes in the purchasing behavior of consumers in India. The move for local brands is on the rise. There has also been a massive increase in groceries purchased online. Research also shows that Indian consumers are more likely to support local and small businesses than their global consumers.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has also driven converts in the mobility patterns of consumers.
Consumers’ mobility patterns have also crucially impacted all modes of public transports like buses, railway lines, auto-rickshaws, etc.
This rapid rise of the second wave also raised awareness of health and safety schemes. People tend to follow a healthy and organic lifestyle now more than earlier. The most significant behavior change is more people wearing masks. They are also staying home despite concerns of economic crisis.
The social impact
The COVID-19 outbreak has slowed the pace and changed daily life for many customers, which will profoundly impact the way we view personal hygiene, health, and how we engage with our communities, friends, and families. People are accepting technology more than ever to support all aspects and consequences of isolation. There is also positive evidence to suggest that this crisis will develop communities rather than separate them.