As China and other markets across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a visible difference in how consumer spending has changed over the course of the first half (H1) of 2020 due to the economical and psychological impacts of the virus. Against the backdrop, retailers need to instill confidence among consumers not only to remain relevant but also to operate smoothly in a new retail landscape, says GlobalData, leading data and analytics company.
According to *GlobalData’s COVID-19 Recovery Survey on consumer attitudes and behavior, as high as 97% people all over the world are concerned about the economic situation in their country and 89% of the respondents agreed to have certain concerns about their future financial situation. People are trying to limit their expenses and are reluctant to spend high on non-essentials.
Even in countries like China, consumer spending on premium health and hygiene related products has overtaken the beauty and grooming, and alcoholic drinks products (21% against that of 16% and 13%, respectively).
Hrishabh Kashyap, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Retailers have a lot to learn from the consumer spending in China and should draw insights from this market. Similarly, growing concerns over the COVID-19 has developed the habit of shopping online to avoid social gathering and lower the chances of virus exposure.”
In India, another key APAC market, 28% of respondents agreed they prefer the online channel over physical channels.
Kashyap concludes: “Despite several countries across the APAC region relaxing lockdown measures, the psychological impact of the virus still prevails. As a result, majority of the consumers are actively preferring digital channels for shopping. This digital trend resonates well with the millennials and gen Z shoppers. In light of the heightened concerns over hygiene, retailers must maintain the required safety norms to assuage apprehensions among the consumers and stay relevant in the evolving retail environment.”