Consumption in a post-corona world

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Post-Corona Consumption in a post-corona world

Published on 08.07.2020 by Stephan Lamprecht, journalist

Experts agree that the world won’t be the same after the coronavirus. How will consumers behave in the “new normal”? A recent study provides important insights.

QVC, a shopping channel, wanted to find out about the effects of the pandemic on society. They therefore commissioned a study directed by renowned trend researcher Prof. Peter Wippermann, called “New Normal: Wie lebt Deutschland in der Post-Corona-Welt?” (“New Normal: How will Germany live in the post-coronavirus world?”), the results of which are likely to be applicable to Swiss consumers too.

Fun shopping as a fan event

A lockdown of public life increases the desire for social proximity. China is witnessing a boom in social shopping apps that turn shopping (physical or digital) into a community experience. Customers explore current products and shop together with friends and followers – a mode of shopping that appeals to 41 percent of female respondents and 50 percent of male respondents. Streaming could even play an important role in everyday shopping. Nearly half of all Generation Z respondents would find it helpful to have a shopping assistant that shows fresh food on video.

The main aim is for shopping to be fun. More than half of the 1,000 study participants would like retailers to turn shops more into meeting points.

Lines between work and leisure blurring, digital socializing becoming normalized

Working from home, video conferencing and home schooling – ideas that seemed impossible just a few weeks ago –became everyday life for many of us during the lockdown. The lines between work and leisure are becoming blurred. 73 percent of Generation Zers liked working from home so much that they would prefer to continue to do so in the future. Younger respondents also tend to have a positive attitude towards digital socializing. Video calls to “hang out” together, chat and have drinks have the potential to become a tradition, even after the coronavirus.

Values and attitudes increasing in importance

Crisis situations like the pandemic make us reassess our appreciation of things and reflect on their value. During lockdown, consumers appear to have recognized the value of timeless garments. Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they wanted to pay more attention to longevity and timelessness in the future. This is likely to put even greater pressure on “fast fashion”, which is already facing criticism for its production conditions alone.

“We can get through this together”: this was probably the most important message in all countries where public life was shut down. Solidarity is appreciably on the rise, which also affected manufacturers of branded goods and retailers. Two thirds of consumers state that in future they would rather buy from suppliers that value solidarity, social responsibility and sustainability. And over 70 percent believe that the crisis has given them an incentive to buy regional products.

In a nutshell, the “new normal” has multiple challenges both for retailers and manufacturers of branded goods.

Further details about this study are available online (only available in German).

Stephan Lamprecht, journalist

Stephan Lamprecht has been following e-commerce developments in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for two decades as a journalist and consultant.

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