The global pandemic has altered many aspects of daily life, including the way people consume. New trends in shopping, products, and services have been quickly installed in everyday life, and many of them seem to be consolidating with an immediate impact on personal finances. Society is changing its consumer habits as a result of the coronavirus crisis. However, is it just the general public, or are there changes within Top 10 Biggest Spenders? It seems to be that the general trend has changed, and forced many people to begin to shop digital.
Search for safety and conscious consumption.
Recent reports indicate that the general public looks to brands as a pillar of stability in the most challenging moments, in the search for comfort or security that they do not always find in other sectors. So those brands that reinforce the feeling of calm and well-being will generate more positive emotional ties, and people will buy into it more. On the other hand, the crisis will mean an acceleration of conscious consumerism since there are great calls to make online purchases from local and nearby businesses or to support brands that have been severely affected to make deliveries to the end of the seclusion. Consuming local, fresh, and seasonal products positively impact the pocket since, by reducing the costs derived from storage, packaging, and fuel, their price is usually lower. Other advantages are that healthy eating is promoted and the economy of the area is boosted.
These days, a trend that was already present among consumers has accelerated: personal care and the balance between body and mind. The end of the lockdown will become an excellent opportunity for brands and services related to health, science, physical activity, and personal care. The social conversation about conciliation intensifies and the taste for cooking increases, compared to prepared food. Acquiring products and services related to personal care requires a prior reflection on the part of the client and the conviction that they will make use of it and get the most out of it. Before buying, it is necessary to compare offers and take advantage of those used. Regarding the kitchen at home, it is always cheaper to cook at home than eating out or buying prepared dishes. People have been investing in buying more takeaways than before but also kitchen products and equipment, such as bread makers.
Digital consumption and creativity.
Isolation has opened doors to new ways of having fun, communicating, shopping, and working. The change in habits is marked by the generalization of trends such as virtual leisure, access to ‘delivery’, the purchase of online products, and platforms for teleworking. These trends will re-educate our habits and cause a more accelerated change than expected in digitization, on-demand services, and the development of e-commerce. The digitization prevents displacement with consequent savings in transportation and time consuming or contract services, and can take advantage of the numerous discounts offered by retailers online. In turn, virtual leisure platforms facilitate access to a complete catalog of content at an affordable price, which positively impacts finances.
Consumer habits are changing.
Netflix has brought the subscription model to millions of households around the world. Not surprisingly, the streaming platform ended the year 2017, approaching 120 million users. Its subscription commitment is such that as early as 1999, just two years after it was founded, the company began offering DVDs to its users in exchange for a flat monthly fee.
Technology is advancing.
If products and services’ personalization has also become a consumer habit, the offers themselves do not escape this trend. Today technology allows different ways of personalizing advertising, making indiscriminate banners or the traditional advertising brochures quite different from current consumer trends. On the one hand, geolocation makes it possible to offer promotional information to potential customers based on their location and, at the same time, learn from their movements. In fact, it gives rise to the so-called geo-marketing. Consumption habits could be influenced by geo-marketing, as is already the case in some United States establishments. There, the New York chain of stores Barneys has a mobile app that makes specific recommendations to customers who are in the process of purchasing within one of its establishments based on their own shopping habits.
The pandemic has turned out to be a global experiment in reducing pollution. For this reason, in this context of reflection, awareness of the sustainability of the planet, waste management, the importance of consuming organic products, pollution, recycling, or caring for the environment has become relevant.
Adopting more sustainable and conscious forms of consumption is beneficial for the health of the planet and financial well-being, but the essential saving gestures are not neglected. Comparing prices and making a monthly budget is essential to record the impact of new consumption habits on finances and modulate savings. In other words, if the change in consumption is reducing the amount dedicated, for example, to the shopping basket, that surplus can cover another item of expenditure, reduce debts or serve to increase the financial cushion. In this way, you will be able to maintain an adequate level of financial health, something significant in times of uncertainty. It has even impacted businesses, not just spenders. Sustainable and responsible investment has become a common practice among companies, institutions, and individual investors. It is no longer only that a project is economically profitable, but that it positively impacts society and the environment.
So it is safe to say that the pandemic has in fact influenced the way we shop and the way that we consume the products available. Whether this will fade away or continue to blossom is yet to be seen, however the digital world has grown so extensively that it makes ecommerce and spending so much easier and seamless, with the options to buy at the touch of a button. There will always be peaks and troughs in trends but we will have to wait for 2021, before we can analyse further trends.