The impact of Covid-19 on consumers

Coronavirus pandemic is having tremendous impact in all sectors of society. There is not a single economic sector that is not suffering from its effects.

Never before has the world experienced such a situation. This has led to enormous changes in our consumer habits.We will not know whether or not they will be maintained over time.

Recently, John TavolieriThe Global Head of Operations of the "Nielsen" Group, gave a very interesting virtual conference at the "San Telmo Business School" in which, in addition to explaining his company's experience in facing the current crisis situation, outlined the six stages they have identified in consumer behaviour that relate directly to the concerns with the coronavirus outbreak.


Stages of consumer behaviour after COVID-19:

  1. Proactive health procurement. As people start to learn about the spread of the virus around the world, they start to be proactive in buying some products to stock their pantry.
  2. Reactive health management. It comes after the virus has started to spread in the local community. People start to shift from spending on less essential goods to spending their budget on basic necessities, preparing themselves in case someone in their family becomes ill.
  3. Preparation of the pantry. At this stage, consumers start to become aware of a potential situation where they will be forced to work from home and start to stock up on certain non-perishable goods. We have seen what has happened with the toilet paper in some markets, notably in the United States, where it can be said that there has been "panic buying".
  4. Preparing for life in quarantine. That is what we are facing at the moment, we are not allowed to leave the house unless it is to buy food or medicine. We opted not to do even that and we opted for the buy onlinesays Tavolieri.
  5. Restricted life. This is when you are really in the moment of confinement, not knowing how long it will last. Online shopping plays a more important role in this phase.
  6. Living a new normal. We do not yet know what that situation will look like. China will be the first market to tell us, as it also seems to be the first country to overcome the health crisis.

During the conference, the Nielsen representative went even further and also offered some keys on how companies should deal with the current crisis; criteria that can really be applied to any crisis situation.

Criteria for dealing with the crisis by COVID-19:

In this regard, it is important to highlight the need to address three vital areas for any organisation in this exceptional situation:

  • Addressing the employee health and safety.
  • Make decisions in accordance with the law.
  • Business continuity.

To achieve all this, communication becomes a vital element and the simpler and more reliable it is, the better.

In addition, the obligation not to leave home except on very justified occasions requires employees teleworking at home to have a adequate IT infrastructure. All this, of course, without losing sight of the fact that the situation of confinement and health crisis will not last forever. Management teams should work in parallel to plan for de-escalation..



Recent publications

List of files