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Impact of COVID-19 on short- and medium-term consumer behavior

Will the crisis have a lasting effect on consumption?

The pandemic has hit economies in most countries and many industries hard – mainly because consumption behavior of consumers has changed drastically. Due to lockdown and economic instabilities, consumers were forced to adapt their behavior from one day to another. Consumer trends that have been developing on a clear path in the last years were disrupted – the question remaining is whether this disruption will have a lasting impact. What happens now as economies are ramping up and social life is slowly opening up – what will the new normal of consumer behavior look like?

Along five major consumer trends, Monitor Deloitte has asked over 2000 consumers and industry experts in Germany during the crisis how consumption behavior has changed and how it is expected to evolve during the next 12 months:


1. Online vs. Offline: Due to the lockdown and increased health-consciousness, consumers were forced to buy more goods online and to use more digital services. However, will this forced trend continue after the crisis – and for which categories will this hold especially true?

2. Sharing vs. Owning: Before the crisis, the sharing economy wat at an all-time high. What will happen after the crisis – will consumers be more timid in sharing spaces and goods or will convenience lead them back?

3. In-Home vs. Out-of-Home: Dining out and convenience formats where on the rise before the crisis. The lockdown has forced people to not only dine in but also change their fitness behavior. Will the crisis change the fitness and gastronomic sector forever or are consumers longing to get back to their old habits?

4. Local vs. global: Globalization has been the driver of our economy over the past decades – for the first time ever global exchange, travel and supply chains have been disrupted severely, fostering already ongoing localization trends – especially in the food and retail sector. How will the new normal look like? Are consumers willing to give up convenience and pay a premium to support local economies in the mid-term as well?

5. Data privacy vs convenience: Compared to some Asian countries German consumers have always put a lot of emphasis on data privacy and not sharing (too much) personal data. However, the crisis and the increased dependencies on digital services has force many consumers to give up their data more often than before. Did this foster a long lasting mind-set change or nor?


In the section above you can download the full study.