Shopping mindset changed by pandemic

11th May 2020 | Eativity editors

COVID-19 has changed so many things that we once took for granted. People have changed the way they work, the way they spend their downtime  – even the time that they eat dinner. Now a new consumer report has revealed that Australians have changed their attitude to the way they shop since the pandemic began.

The report, compiled by The Toluna and Harris Interactive, was based on a cross-sectional study involving 1046 Australian shoppers and shows several new trends have emerged. It found that 29% of shoppers are willing to try new products as substitutes for their missing favourites, and at least 31% indicated a willingness to seek alternative brands.

The study also found that 52% of shoppers are now willing to pay more for products that they used to buy for a cheaper price before the pandemic began, even though 68% of Aussie shoppers have gone without something they would usually buy.

With many brands out of stock over the last few weeks, shoppers have had to choose alternatives to their usual choices. But the report found that a large majority were okay to switch brands, as long as they were purchasing the same type of product.

Yes… I spy toilet paper!

The report also revealed that, despite the potential risk of infection, most respondents had shopped in grocery stores (79%) in the previous fortnight, while only 20% had shopped online. However, these high numbers are likely due to restrictions and long waiting times on online delivery services and the cancellation of click and collect services by major supermarket chains. And despite some difficulties with getting what the products they need, the majority of shoppers (69%) say they felt supported by their retailers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing interesting sentiments among consumers,” says Lucia Juliano, a senior researcher at Harris Interactive and Toluna. “Brand loyalty is still important for people, but when forced to choose between brand and product when their preferred brand isn’t available, they will turn to an alternative product.”

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