Understanding the 2021 consumer

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Blockages with little notice, panic buying, supply chain disruptions, hasty changes in health and safety regulations, and extreme swings in consumer needs and expectations. These are the challenges that retailers, as well as personal care and hospitality businesses, faced during the pandemic. How have they behaved and how have consumers changed as a result of their pandemic experience? CommBank’s first Consumer Insights report explores the answers.

Adaptability tested

In the eyes of the 5,656 consumers surveyed for the report, businesses responded admirably. Some 61 percent believe that retailers and personal care and hospitality providers have adapted well to changing circumstances and consumer needs.

Almost a third of consumers report better shopping and delivery experiences online during the pandemic, and more than 20% say in-store experiences have improved. Consumer-oriented businesses have built goodwill among their customers.

Consumers unequally affected

Thanks to Australia’s global handling of the health and economic crisis, a majority of consumers report that the pandemic has had no impact or a positive impact on their physical, mental and financial well-being. However, for the 27% whose jobs were affected by the pandemic, the impact on all aspects of their lifestyle was negative.

More generally, many consumers have taken a prudent approach to their finances amid the pandemic. Some 42% reduced their overall spending level and 40% redirected the money normally spent on experiences like travel, towards savings and investments.

Priority reset

Confined to their homes, consumers have found new ways to spend their time. Have new behaviors become habits? The majority of those who have been busy watching TV, shopping, gaming and engaging on social media say the time spent on these activities will either decrease this year or return to pre-pandemic levels.

However, the majority of those who have spent more time than before cooking rather than dining out, being with partners / children, reading and leading healthier lifestyles, indicate that these habits will continue. . This illustrates a defined change in value for a proportion of the population that not only influences preferences, but provides an opportunity for companies to better align with what really matters to customers.

Buying locally and buying products made in Australia is a good example of another value that consumers have gained during the pandemic and which is likely to persist.

Change in purchasing behavior …

During the pandemic, spending in some retail categories skyrocketed, while spending in other areas fell for a while. According to the report, these spending patterns have not taken hold. A majority of consumers say spending will return to pre-pandemic levels.

The study also found that in the affected categories of retail and fast food, there was an average 2.6% increase in consumer preference for the Internet as their preferred channel. Nevertheless, the store remains mainly the preferred channel. Effective omnichannel strategies are more important than ever.

… and expectations

Convenience and quality have become more important to buyers, as have options for purchasing products made or purchased in Australia.

In addition, as 26% of retail purchases are now made online and more people are working flexibly, fast, convenient and reliable delivery options and user-friendly websites are increasingly in demand. .

For now, basic measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are expected in stores. These include the provision of hand sanitizer, spacious layouts, strict customer number monitoring and enforcement, and frictionless digital options around check-in and payments. Once businesses get the hang of it, there’s a good foundation on which to build a more engaging experience for buyers.

Understanding the 2021 consumer

The events of the past year have influenced the way many Australians live, work and shop, and have shaped their spending and saving behaviors in different ways.

Understanding current consumer behaviors, expectations and intentions will help businesses continue to adapt to changing consumer needs.

Read the full report

CommBank is dedicated to helping Australian retailers realize their vision. For more information on how we can help your business, visit commbank.com.au/consumer-insights or send an email to [email protected]

About CommBank Consumer Insights

CommBank Consumer Insights is an exclusive and extensive analysis of the Australian consumer with this edition focused on assessing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on consumer lifestyles and behaviors. This edition is based on an online quantitative survey conducted by ACA Research on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank. The survey was conducted in January 2021 and was completed by 5,656 consumers of goods and services, each respondent answering questions based on one of the following categories: grocery (n = 353), alcohol (n = 353 ), fashion (n = 354), housewares and appliances (n = 355), DIY, construction, garden supplies and hardware (n = 354), consumer electronics (n = 352), motor vehicle parts and accessories ( n = 352), health and beauty (n = 357), books, games, music and media (n = 353), hobby items (n = 354), fast food and fast food (n = 350), restaurants and cafes (n = 356), pubs (n = 353), clubs (n = 352), accommodation (n = 353) and personal care services (n = 355). Survey participants were segmented by generation as follows: Generation Z, 16-24 years old (9%), Generation Y, 25-38 years (27%), Generation X, 39-54 years (28%), baby boomers, aged 55 to 72 (26%) and pre-boomers, aged 73 and over (10%). The sample was selected to ensure that the results are nationally representative. All statistics and consumer references in this report are based on survey responses, unless otherwise noted. CommBank Consumer Insights: Edition 1

Things you should know:

The report has been published for general information purposes only. Since this information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, your financial situation or your needs, you should, before acting on this information, examine its suitability for your situation and, if necessary, seek the opinion from a professional. The Bank believes that the information contained in the report is correct and that all opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made, based on the information available at the time of its compilation, but no representations or warranties, express or implied, are is made or provided as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of any statement made in the report. All projections and forecasts are based on a number of assumptions and estimates and are subject to contingencies and uncertainties. Different assumptions and estimates could lead to materially different results. The report refers to data from an online survey of 5,656 consumers. The survey was carried out by ACA Research on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank. All analyzes and opinions on future market conditions are solely those of the Commonwealth Bank. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian Credit License 234945.

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