The Pandemic and Its Impact on Shopping Around the World – When Does It End?

The past year is likely to remain in our collective memory as the pivotal period in which we stopped to analyze our lifestyle and spending habits. Most people noticed that they changed the way they shopped, the products they used to choose, and even changed their preferred payment methods. The following sections look at the pandemic’s impact on shopping in different countries and discuss whether these changes are bound to last. 

It is obvious at this point that the pandemic changed the shopping trends in 2020. There is plenty of evidence indicating that consumers’ employment, welfare, and geographical location are some of the main determinants of shopping patterns. For example, Promocodius, a promo code and online discount resource, registered a 6% increase in online purchases, and up to 13% more people used their discounts compared to 2019. This shows that people were more interested in savings in 2020 compared to the previous year, as demonstrated by the surge in demand for Promocodius’ promo codes.

Changes in Shopping 

As briefly mentioned above, more customers turned to cost-effective brands. An international study shows that 78% of consumers were financially impacted by the pandemic, while nearly 40% of US citizens experienced income decreases. Brands must remain competitive and offer deals and discounts where possible as consumers all over the world turn their attention to such options, aiming to help them purchase their essentials without a significant impact on their budgets. 

More people than ever before focus on local brands and businesses. This is not only a matter of convenience, fortunately, as they also want to demonstrate support during these difficult times. A study showed that 46% of people shifted to their community-based firms for products and services, while up to 80% of people now feel closer to them. 

At the same time, 88% of these people expect these connections to last even after the end of the pandemic. However, this feeling is less common in countries with less economic shock, such as Japan and Germany. 

There is a consensus that almost half of all consumers intend to keep making digital payments instead of cash transactions. This is mostly because of increased awareness of hygiene-related matters when it comes to payment methods. Also, consumers around the world intend to keep using self-checkout as one of the main low-contact shopping methods. 

Furthermore, health and cleanliness have become new priorities, and they are not about to change any time soon. Up to 59% of consumers state that they have changed their shopping behaviors to be more health-conscious. This is supported by an increase in revenues for companies selling supplements for immunity, for instance, recording up to 40% more sales compared to the previous year. Almost half of the consumers intend to keep these habits even after the pandemic ends. 

More and more people turned to new products and services. Some of them are driven by curiosity since about 30% of people decided to pick up a new hobby during the quarantine. For example, 28% of consumers in China switched to new brands due to convenience, and almost half of them intend to keep shopping there even after the pandemic ends. 

Finally, there has been a surge in online shopping, especially during the holidays. This trend is persistent across all countries and product categories since most people avoid out-of-home activities, including shopping. An average of 30% increase was registered across all countries when it comes to buying food and household products online. This trend is weaker in China since the country already had a high level of online purchases before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summary

Some people believe that these habits adopted during the pandemic will not change any time soon. Others are ready to embrace their old practices and return to their previous lifestyle. While these opinions are divergent, cost-conscious shopping and hygiene awareness are most likely here to stay. Businesses need to keep up with these shopping trends, focusing on technology and convenience, allowing people to enjoy their shopping using budget-conscious prices.

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