The Long-Term Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behavior
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has already changed how consumers act and behave, and that requires showrooms to evaluate how they will connect with customers and prospects moving forward. COVID-19 has impacted how consumers obtain information and how and why they purchase. Consulting company McKinsey recently identified eight elements of consumer behavior that COVID-19 has affected and how consumer habits and preferences are changing. The following are some highlights:
- McKinsey found that consumers have increased spending on food and cooking by 54%, at-home entertainment by 30 to 40% and 22% for home improvements.
- Consumption in the U.S. is expected to decline by 12% in the next two years, and priorities will change. “Think fewer cosmetics and more flour.” Many of your current and prospective clients have stopped going to the store altogether. With most homes doubling as the workplace for many people, digital bandwidth to accommodate Zoom and online connectivity will have to increase in certain communities.
- A recession is expected. By the end of the third quarter, 15% of Americans will be unemployed.
- The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in 43% of consumers are watching more television, 40% are using more social media and 28% are listening to more radio. Online news readership is up 39% while print media readership has declined by 33%.
As far as the future goes, the use of digital is the primary source most consumers use to find showrooms, and health and hygiene will remain the top priorities of those who come in. Prospects want seamless, touch-free experiences. Showrooms will need to develop protocols that assure clients that they can visit safely, even when masks are no longer required.