- Digital channels first choice for time planning – Purchases shift to marginal times during the Corona pandemic.
- Higher price awareness, but mostly no fundamental restrictions in everyday shopping.
- Consumer behavior: Health protection does not significantly affect the shopping experience in stationary shops.
Does the Corona State of Emergency change consumer behavior, and if so, how? Which information channels do consumers use in the current situation to schedule their purchases – and when do they do it? Are consumers restricting their everyday shopping or is the shopping basket largely unchanged?
A current survey on consumer behavior during the Corona crisis provides answers to these and other questions market guru, which the online brochures and cashback provider has carried out for over 3,000 users of its platform.
Consumer behavior: digital channels first choice in purchasing planning
Small cause, big effect: With the outbreak of the Corona virus, shopping takes place under new conditions: Mask requirement, distance rules, Restrictions on the number of customers in shops and more change shopping significantly in some cases. The following survey results show how consumers perceive change and how they deal with it.
When it comes to scheduling purchases, the consumers surveyed currently rely primarily on digital channels. Up-to-date information on shop opening hours is mainly researched on the websites or in the apps of the retailers (56.7 percent of those surveyed). In second and third place are digital trade prospectuses (42.1 percent) and social networks (17.6 percent). A quarter of the respondents (24.9 percent) go lucky, 13 percent rely on information from friends and acquaintances.
There is a clear shift in shopping times: While almost half of those surveyed do not shake their usual shopping routines, over 50 percent endeavor to avoid rush hours with high shopping volumes and to deliberately shift their shopping activities to off-peak times. Almost 60 percent (58.4 percent) also make their purchase preparations more targeted and bundle, for example, purchases for efficiency purposes.
Just over 40 percent (41.4 percent) still go shopping when they need something. Roughly the same number of survey participants (42.5 percent) due to the continuing exceptional situation generally plan more time for their purchases, around 58 percent leave their corresponding time budget unchanged.
Hardly any changes in the shopping routes
However, the radius of shopping activities has not changed in 78 percent of those surveyed. It has decreased at around 15 percent and even increased at almost seven percent. Around half of the survey participants buy everyday products from shops within a radius of two to five kilometers. A quarter (24.4 percent) has a radius of action of up to ten kilometers, almost every fifth (17 percent) of a maximum of one kilometer.
Only 9.4 percent) cover shopping distances of more than ten kilometers one-way to cover their daily needs. Purchases for the family (75.1 percent of those surveyed) and for themselves (61.6 percent) are in the foreground. For friends and acquaintances or neighbors, only around one in ten go shopping (10.6 or 9.7 percent).
Basically no restrictions on everyday shopping
In view of the economically tense situation for many and uncertain future prospects, around a quarter of the consumers surveyed (23.5 percent) are currently reducing their daily shopping budget to the “absolutely necessary”. Almost 30 percent spend the same amount as in the pre-Corona period and deliberately treat themselves to rewards. Almost half (46.8 percent) say they shop more price-consciously, but do not otherwise restrict their consumption significantly. 28.3 percent of the respondents increasingly rely on price advantages through offers, coupons and cashback for shopping savings.
Health protection does not significantly affect the stationary shopping experience
If you ask the survey participants how they perceive the current requirements with regard to the shopping experience and the protection of their personal health, almost half (46.4 percent) consider the hygiene and safety measures used in retail to be appropriate. A quarter (25.1 percent) find them helpful and one in five (22.3 percent) give them a “good feeling”. Almost as many respondents (21.8 percent) rate them as “overdrawn”, and a quarter (25.7 percent) find them annoying. Around 13 percent (12.7 percent) judge them to be ineffective.
When it comes to the role of brick-and-mortar retail in the provision of protective materials such as masks and gloves for shopping, a majority of around 60 percent (58.7 percent) of the consumers surveyed see retailers as a duty. A third of the respondents (33.1 percent) would be willing to pay a fee for this service, the others (66.9 percent) would expect this to be a free offer. Despite the clear expectations, the new customer potential associated with such a free service is comparatively low: Only a third of the survey participants (32.8 percent) would be prepared to switch to it, while the remaining survey participants are more loyal to dealers.
Consumer behavior in the Corona crisis: customer focus is paramount
“The marktguru survey gives retailers valuable insight into the thinking and shopping behavior of consumers in the current economic and social exceptional situation,” explains Dr. Marc-Etienne Gessner, Managing Director marktguru. “The results provide numerous impulses and starting points for smart, data-based retail marketing. And they show that a digital platform like marktguru, which serves attractive consumer target groups with a variety of useful shopping services, is a strong partner for sales promotions in the retail sector with its great customer proximity and response. ”
The methodology of the survey: For the survey on consumer behavior during the corona pandemic, marktguru surveyed several thousand users of its integrated online brochure and cashback offers in Germany in May and June 2020. The qualitative survey is based on a questionnaire on socio-demographic characteristics (age, gender, household net income), attitudes and purchasing behavior. The results are based on information from over 3,000 users who have completed the questionnaire.
Also read: Shopping apps: Why the e-commerce boom is coming after the Corona crisis