Consumers shopping habits change as COVID-19 concerns increases

The holidays will be different this year. And consumers are adjusting their holiday preferences and travel plans accordingly to the heightened concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic globally.

However, sustainability is still at the top of the mind of consumers who are considering to change their holiday shopping habits to help reduce environmental impact. In fact, 54% of the surveyed participants said they are modifying their purchase decision and making them more eco-friendly.

The survey was conducted for “Home for the Holidays” and includes insights from more than 12,500 consumers in October across Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. It was taken to get more insight on consumer’s shopping and travel plans amidst the ongoing pandemic.

The trend to look for more sustainable options was even greater in countries such as India and Mexico where 74% of respondents agreed to modify their shopping habits.

Moreover, consumers are on the lookout for brands that offer more sustainable options – instead of good deals only.

The research also shows that many customers have started their shopping earlier this year. Many plan to shop online as well instead of going in-store, due to the rising cases of COVID-19. In comparison, the year 2019 saw 60% of shopping in-store and almost 30% online. But this year the numbers are reversed, observes the study.

When choosing gifts, consumers surveyed reported that they are more into buying products over experiences. Majority are planning to go for digital streaming devices, furniture, electronic goods, and toys rather than personalized items.

Travel Changes Too!

Concerns regarding coronavirus has also changed plans for travel and vacation. In the survey, 72% of consumers surveyed are concerned about a second wave of COVID-19 in 2020 and 74% say the COVID-19 pandemic has made them more concerned about the health and safety of their family.

Over half of the consumers surveyed said they are planning to travel less this season while 22% who travel frequently during the holidays are undecided about their plans. 67% who will travel during the holiday season said they will use a personal car or a rental care as their primary mode of transportation.

Employees also report to take more days off this year than last as they had to take time off to care for family and self. Globally, a third of employees surveyed reported that they face work constraints that disable them to take more time off from work.

Note: The survey was conducted by IBM and took responses from more than 80,000 global consumers since April to find out how COVID-19 has impacted their buying habits and other leisurely activities.

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