How shopper behaviour is impacted by the pandemic

COVID-19 has changed lives rapidly across the globe, and, with it, the way we shop groceries. As countries re-open, which changes in shopper behaviour will become part of the new normal?

Changing shopper behaviour as reaction to the crisis

Many consumers have seen their personal finances being impacted negatively since the crisis hit. While lower disposable income and overall economic insecurity has led many to reduce their spending in categories from fashion and apparel to services, electronics and restaurants, spending for groceries has increased as consumers have stocked up on pantry staples, cleaning and safety products.

The way consumers shop has changed, too: while smaller shopping trips several times per week were on the rise previously, recent months have marked the return of the weekly shop.

In a recent survey by Oliver Wyman, around 60% of shoppers stated that they shop for groceries less often with a considerable number purchasing bigger pack sizes than before. A reason for this might be that around one quarter of shoppers said that they do not feel comfortable inside a physical store. Shoppers also choose grocery stores differently: proximity, hours of operation and availability of online ordering options are the basis for store selection.

Customers globally are taking fewer trips, buying larger packs, and shifting online
1
%
are shopping grocery less often
1
%
more often shopping grocery
1
%
have switched to online grocery
1
%
are buying more big packs

Sources:
Oliver Wyman Customer survey, 2020.

McKinsey, COVID-10 Consumer Pulse surveys, 2020.GfK survey via McKinsey, Italy, 2020.
IDG research, 2020.
Euromonitor International Macro Model, 2020.

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