A look at how consumer behaviour will change post-pandemic

Pranav Jalan
Monday, 10 August 2020

In a recent survey by KPMG about consumer behaviour, it has been noticed that after coronavirus became a part of our society, spending manners of individuals changed considerably.

Coronavirus has impacted almost every industry, be it education, automobile, hospitality, healthcare, entertainment and you name it. It has significantly changed the way people used to live, think and spend. In a recent survey by KPMG about consumer behaviour, it has been noticed that after coronavirus became a part of our society, spending manners of individuals changed considerably.

The survey was conducted based on the following demographics -

Number of respondents- 2,376

Tier 1 - 37 per cent
Tier 2 - 40 per cent
Tier 3 - 23 per cent

20 to 30 - 58 per cent
31 to 40 - 27 per cent
41 to 50 - 11 per cent
> 52 - 4 per cent

Male - 66 per cent
Female - 34 per cent

Deep Pockets - 19 per cent
Cautious Spenders - 21 per cent
Tight Fisted - 60 per cent

More than 51 per cent of consumers think that the spending habits that have changed due to the pandemic are short-lived and people will start spending normally soon. Digital shopping habits have increased by 1.6 times, with even the senior citizens preferring to opt for online mode of shopping. In June 2020, the NPCI declared that the highest transactions have been recorded in the history of UPI mode.

More than 75 per cent of people in all age band think that their expenditure has reduced after COVID-19 became a part of our society.
consumers will face financial problems even after the pandemic has passed. Companies need to reassess their business models and redesign them according to the consumers' needs. They also need to focus on the user forum digitalisation. Organisations should concentrate their efforts on creating a more secure retail atmosphere, buckling the supply chain, and convenient payment options.


The combined payments of the UPI and Wallet are 1.3X higher than the payments made by card. Just 15 per cent of the customers preferred cash payments and 78 per cent of the respondents feel that their average expenditure has reduced.

Nineteen per cent of the consumers think that poor maintenance of hygiene in the supply chain will still affect consumer behaviour in the post-COVID-19 world and 33 per cent believe that fear of COVID-19 will be prevalent even after the pandemic has passed.

Consumers from Tier-1 cities are more concerned about hygiene if compared to Tier-2 or Tier-3 cities. Thirty-four per cent of the people are keener on spending on furniture and electronics, followed by 30 per cent who would want to spend on apparels. Understandably, fewer people want to spend on skincare, cosmetics and fashion accessories in the coming times.

In Tier-3 cities, customers are 1.4X more likely to spend more than Rs 5,000 on apparels than in Tier-1 cities. While consumers in Tier-3 cities are expected to spend more than Rs 5,000 2x more on skincare and cosmetics than in Tier-1 cities.

Brand loyalty will play a crucial role in consumer’s decision making power. Consumers are aware of which brand they have been investing in for a very long time, and at a time like this, they will not want to experiment with a new brand.

People of age group 20-30 are more optimistic about discretionary spending. The towns of Tier 2 and 3 are 1.9X more optimistic than those of the Tier-I. Maybe because of the lower population density, city congestion and neighbourhood transmission, the virus spread is avoidable.

It is difficult to perceive how the buying behaviour of consumers will change over time; however, it is for sure that the COVID-19 pandemic will remain influential in moulding the future of retail hereon.

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