Many people are still experiencing altered personal circumstances. Some may have saved money by not being able to go out, and others are worse off for being furloughed or losing their job. With many spending more time conducting more shopping and other daily activities – work, education, play – from home, connections to family, home and local community have strengthened.
As a result, many consumers are redefining what they value and how, when, where and why they shop. They are buying different products. They are buying through channels they may not have used before. And many of these shifts are likely to continue beyond the pandemic.
Long-established behaviors such as the daily commute and in-person shopping have been disrupted, reducing the exposure brands depend on. In the face of an ever-growing barrage of digital communications from brand owners, consumers are becoming pickier about those they choose to engage with.
Recurring lockdowns, habits picked up from the pandemic and social restrictions continue to drive an increase in shopping online and atomizing the shopping experience into micro-moments spread throughout the day and across devices. The lack of many of the sensory cues on which people rely in a physical retail environment has changed how consumers approach buying decisions.
Conscious consumption, shopping local and ecommerce have all grown significantly over the past year and look set to continue.
Some 62% of consumers think the pandemic will increase their focus on environment issues moving forward while 79% think it will increase their longer-term focus on health.1
Meanwhile, 46% of consumers expect to sustain their increased purchase of locally-sourced goods during the pandemic once it is over, for example, while the same proportion expect to continue to shop more from local outlets or suppliers.2
New ecommerce users increased their usage of the channel during the pandemic by 156%, and plan to continue similarly after it has passed, according to Accenture consumer research.3
Shoppers are buying through text messaging and social media platforms. Brands are selling direct to consumers.
Consumers have increased use of omnichannel services such as home delivery, chat features and virtual consultations, and are highly likely to continue using these in the future.
Further, consumers are seeking greater relevance from increased personalization from the CPG brands they choose to engage with. And they are looking to consumer goods brand owners not to solve their problems but to enable them to create for themselves to meet their own needs.
In today’s multi-faceted omnichannel world, those organizations with a brand presence that is purposeful, inclusive and integrated across all channels will be the winners.