The coronavirus outbreak left supermarkets, streets and shopping malls deserted. Instead of manoeuvring several bags through approaching pedestrians, items were handily placed into a digital cart and ordered at home. Meanwhile, shopping malls, supermarkets are reopened but the COVID-19 has not flattened its curve and preventive measures against the spread of the contagion are still being taken.
While the rush is still limited during the weekend, long queues are forming in front of grocery stores on the weekends. Currently, the river of people that flows through the shopping streets is still rather a quiet hustle and bustle than an intense fast-moving ride.
Consumers have changed a lot of their purchasing style amid the lockdown to fight the infection. Consumers these days have started spending enough money on health and hygiene goods.
Shopping is changed today even when stores are recommencing. Amid the COVID-19 lockdown which is still in the place, most of the people have become comfortable shopping online and it seems the trend is expected to continue at least for the next few months. Sonal Alhat, who loves shopping says, “The lockdown has changed the shopping styles. Earlier, I used to visit shopping streets, malls twice or thrice in a month but now I prefer shopping online. One can avoid the rush outside and can avail what they want in just one click.”
“Also, the shopping pattern has been changed. Before COVID-19, I used to shop for clothes, cosmetic products and other stuff at regular interval but now I prefer health and hygiene goods such as face masks, sanitiser, gloves and more, she adds.
Consumers have shifted from spending money openly on non-essential goods and services to essential products and making them last longer. Rohit Waychal who owns a shop in Pune’s Tulshibaug says, “Tulshibaug which is a ‘hotspot’ for shopping in Pune has reopened from past two months. The preference of people shopping here is clear now. Facial masks are becoming part of regular dressing. Since it is compulsory to wear the face mask in public, many new designs of face masks are attracting consumers.”
A cosmetic product shop owner who preferred to remain unnamed said, “The shopping trends have changed and it has resulted in a loss in the cosmetic world. Facemasks are making buzz. Since half your face is covered therefore it might be a low spent on products related to face and the shift is now to only eye makeup products.
Meanwhile, small stores in the city also mean less space and capacity. According to the guidelines, these shops nowadays allow only two customers at once. This seems to put off the people and only a few dare to shop visiting the shops. Some stores in the city are still not in operation and refer to their online portal for shopping if available.
Though many stores are greeting customers with a ‘welcome back, now open’ poster in their shop windows, the experience doesn’t feel very sunny.
People these days are moving towards buying new or second-hand cars or personal transports and even electronics machines. You may be surprised to know that even cooking tutorial videos are in high demand on the internet.
There is a spine in everything that gives us comfort, such as nostalgic content like Ramayan and Mahabharat which was re-telecasted on Doordarshan recently, cooking delicious food and playing family games such as Ludo. Even as retailers reopen more stores, it is clear that people will take to online shopping in a big way prompting big brands to focus more on sales on the internet.