Will the changes in consumer behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic be permanent?
The following study will explore the changes made in consumer behaviour throughout the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. At the start of 2020 consumers found themselves in a state of panic and as a result they shifted their consumer behaviours to allow them to feel more prepared (Dammeyer, 2020). These changes included moving to and from online grocery services, using local farms for produce and increasing their trips to the shop and the number of items they were purchasing. The following study aims to provide the reader with an understanding of the reasons suggested within current literature for these shifts as well as explaining consumers personal reasoning and when/if they will return to their pre-pandemic shopping habits. The research within this study follows a quantitative approach using an online questionnaire, distributed via social media to respondents asking them what changes they made, why and when/if they will return to their previous behaviours once the coronavirus pandemic is over. The researcher obtained 100 responses which allowed an in-depth analysis determining the most popular shifts being increasing shop visits and item quantities – respondents said this was because they were at home more and this meant they burned through quantities much faster. With the least popular shift being moving from online grocery services to face to face shopping – this being because it was a forced shift via lack of slots. The research also found that 49.4% of respondents intend to revert their shopping habits once coronavirus levels fall to much lower levels. Overall, the research discussed in-depth within this dissertation will provide suppliers of an accurate picture of when consumers will begin to return to their previous shopping habits, therefore removing the pressure and demand on retailer and supplier products and services.