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How Does Covid-19 Affect Consumers’ Behavior?

Date Created: 30/10/2020
We hear a lot on news channels and articles about how different types of businesses are affected from the pandemic and how they react. However, another interesting topic that hasn’t been brought up in a great scale is consumer behavior regarding products and services during the pandemic.
Nowadays there are multiple mentions about the fact that everything goes online in marketing. Stating that people simply buy online seems to be a vague statement to constitute a critical point in a consumers’ behavior analysis. We need to get deeper and seek other insightful aspects to ultimately draw conclusions.
By taking into account multiple factors, surveys can bring answers to the fundamental question of consumer behavior.
Below facts are presented based on a survey conducted by Go Group Digital and Kameleon.
Survey analysis and comments:
1. There is an obvious immediate increase in digital channel use since Covid-19.
There is a 34% increase on online time spent in activities related to shopping, media, e-learning, finance and healthcare. Consumers use digital channels more for a wide range of digital tasks.
increase time
More specifically, during the pandemic:
  • 54% of participants watched and listened to streaming entertainment more often, while, 11% doubled the time they spent on digital entertainment.
  • 47% unsurprisingly read the press more often.
  • 33% took online classes during their leisure time.
  • 27% bought home and garden products more often.
Nevertheless, percentages differ between countries, based on, primarily, the number of Covid-19 cases and victims, and, secondarily, digital literacy.
For example, In Italy stricter regulations resulted in more people spending time online (43%) compared to Germany (24%).
2. The increase in digital channel use will likely NOT stop after the pandemic.
It seems that both the pandemic itself and lockdowns have permanently altered consumer behavior to some degree.
Around 24% of surveyed people stated that they would use online channels when lockdowns were not strict, with the highest figures being in the US (29%) and Italy (28%).
61% said they would prefer using online channels and eventually would switchback to normality when needed, while, 15% would completely switch back to normality.
Results show that there is a great opportunity for digital companies to expand, whereas, other companies can adopt or enhance a better digital presence and save money, by also acquiring more customers digitally.
Since people from all ages and backgrounds now use digital channels, providing a tailor-made experience becomes a must.
3. Consumers expect being given a personalized experience from brands.
The internet is the primary source of information for most consumers and brands who need to adapt and provide a personalized experience to increase engagement and respond to customers’ needs. Depending on background, age, culture and economic status, people will consciously or unconsciously examine multiple varied aspects before converting.
What do consumers expect?
73% want and expect a personalized journey when it comes to interacting with brands online, while 80% expect personalized emails.
About 40% of participants said they want websites to adapt based on their personal needs.
Do Companies fulfill customers’ expectations?
Brands do not seem to quite fulfill consumers’ expectations and desires.
More specifically:
  • 57% of participants said they were disappointed with the way they were treated by brands online.
  • Only 25% felt their personal needs were addressed appropriately.
It seems that there is improvement room for brands since providing reassurance to customers happens only on a minor level.
4. Future purchases will be impacted.
Data indicates that there is a link between the quality of the digital experience and purchasing behavior:
  • About 2/3 of participants (66%) said they would replace brands they bought from if the digital experience they were offered did not live up to their expectations.
  • 41% would stop being brand loyal if brands failed to deliver on their needs.
  • 21% would be making purchases from brands that have delivered a good, personalized experience.
International facts
79% of Italian participants and 73% of American and British participants said their future purchasing behavior would be impacted by factors that have to do with digital capabilities of brands. Whereas, another 50% of British participants said they would reduce their spending on brands that have disappointed them. 49% of German participants were more likely to stick with brands their loyal to.
5. The benefits of switching to digital.
Taking for a fact that services and experiences do address consumers’ expectations, brands should see great benefits in strengthening their digital presence.
Time vs. Money survey results
When comparing time waste with money savings, consumers saw benefits more on the latter (26%), rather than the former (24%).
What about digital privacy?
When it comes to comparing the benefits of going online for making purchases to having personal data tracked by brands, only 9%
 of participants viewed being tracked as a discouraging factor, while 40% ranked it as non-important.
As OneTeam, not only do we search for key insights that derive from market research and surveys, we also provide on-point tips that are connected to your company’s general strategy and specific objectives. Our Digital Team is qualified and capable of planning and executing effective strategies that follow today’s social and economical circumstances.


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