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How COVID Is Changing Retail Landscape For Good

Market research firm McKinsey has found that the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing the retail landscape, and many of these new trends are set to stay.

More consumers have been shopping online during the COVID-19 lockdowns, and many believe they will continue to shop primarily online once the crisis is over too.

“Most categories have seen a 15-40% increase in online channel user growth. Consumers have also adopted many digital and contactless services including curbside pickup, delivery, and buying online for in-store pickup,” McKinsey stated.

In its US consumer sentiment survey, McKinsey found that three-quarters of consumers experimented with new shopping behaviours during the crisis, including trying new brands or places to shop.

“Digital channels including online advertising and social media, as well as proactive researching were shoppers’ key sources of information about these new places to shop,” McKinsey wrote.

In Australia, 34% of consumers proactively researched when finding a new place to shop.

The McKinsey survey also found that consumers are paying more attention to how companies treat their employees during this difficult period.

“Our recent research on Australian households evidences a growing culture of doing the right things, looking after society, and “being all in this together”. And the recent surge of activism is likely to give consumers a greater sense of their power in holding larger organisations to account,” McKinsey stated.

“Some 61% claim that how a brand responds during the crisis will have a large impact on whether they continue buying it when the crisis is over.”

In addition, many consumers are turning away from premium and luxury items but are spending more on essentials. This trend is likely to stay until economies recover.

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