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E-commerce will outperform retail in the year ahead: Kantar’s Covid-19 Barometer

Kantar’s Covid-19 Barometer report has predicted that a new wave of e-commerce consumers will emerge by next year due to the pandemic. It said 32% households have increased their online spends

Kantar recently released the Covid-19 Barometer that identifies three major trends that will be noticed in the post-Covid-19 scenario. The report says people will continue to stick to e-commerce businesses that they visited during the crisis.

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It said 31% will continue to buy new products from online retailers and 33% believe their online spending will increase. 40% of conscious consumers and 45% of households with children will continue to opt for e-commerce options. The report also said brands need to scale up their e-commerce services to survive. 

The report said consumers will continue to remain value-conscious as income of 43% households has been affected. Another 26% believe their income will be affected in the future.

The report says consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of shutdowns. 72% of consumers are very or somewhat concerned about a second wave and the reintroduction of a shutdown. In households that have already taken a financial hit, this increases to 76%. The report said consumers expect brands to offer increasing discounts and value for products mainly in the hygiene category.

Going local will be mainstream in the post-Covid-19 world. The report says brands will increasingly opt for localised production strategies. 65% people now prefer local goods and services. One in four consumers thinks the brands they use should bring production back to their own country. Consumers worry about the safety of the products shipped from abroad, the report said. 60% people are concerned about goods shipped from China and 47% are concerned about goods from the United States.

Rosie Hawkins, Chief Innovation Officer, Kantar, said, “We know that periods of disruption accelerate change and that it takes between one and two months for new habits to become ‘sticky’. We believe these three trends will become important as the world’s biggest brands plan their paths back to healthy growth in the post-pandemic period. E-commerce, and particularly ensuring a great customer experience, needs to become a mainstay of every consumer brand. Successful incumbents will need to watch out for emerging D2C competitors who have been more agile and creative during the lockdown period. New value-add strategies will need to be developed to respond to the economic anxiety that will remain for some time. Brand strategists will need to more closely evaluate their resourcing strategies and explore the opportunities that strong provenance creates.” 

The report said 73% of people are anxious. However, anxiety levels have scaled down from the mid-March peak. 40% of people said they have ramped up their exercise, reading or sleeping habits to cope with pandemic-related stress. More than half said they're eating healthier and trying new dishes, with 64% of people doing so in homes with children.  People are avoiding alcohol and practising ‘drysolation’, the report said.

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