COVID-19 : The impact on consumers

Astrid Baron - 22/12/2020

How are consumption habits changing in the face of COVID-19?

We who thought we were slowly but surely starting to emerge from the health crisis are now catching up with reality. Curfew at 9 pm, confinement… the measures taken by the government over the last month to fight against the acceleration of the pandemic no longer seem sufficient.
In an annoyed or even slightly irritable state of mind, we can start to think differently, to conceive things in a different way. But are we going to review our consumption habits in the face of COVID-19?

Divergent habits :

Consumers are concerned about the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. There are multiple reactions, different behaviours and buying habits. According to the research report conducted by Accenture,“Consumers are responding to the crisis in a variety of ways. Some feel anxious… which encourages compulsive purchases of commodities and hygiene products. Others remain indifferent to the pandemic and continue to operate as usual, despite government and healthcare professional recommendations.
The observation is obvious: consumers bought first, hand sanitizer before focusing their purchases on groceries. The anxiety is palpable and certainly justified. Paradoxically, research indicates that the new habits that are formed will continue over time and permanently change how we live or work, what we used to be attached to…

Covid and Consumer Habits : Consumers’ Priorities are Changing

We can notice that what seemed “essential” before the crisis is not necessarily essential anymore. The health crisis that we are going through impacts our economy and our way of consuming. The Nielsen Institute notes this in a recent article.“The uncertainty surrounding the current health situation has a concrete influence on consumer behavior. On the one hand, they follow the government’s health instructions but sometimes over-react… by stocking certain basic necessities.”
Faced with this exceptional situation, consumers react according to the state of emergency rather than in a completely rational way. Buyers are refocusing on basic needs, but not only that: they are buying more locally and embracing digital commerce.

The virtualization of retail and e-commerce : now anchored :

Online sales have doubled in just a few months, the latest figures from FEVAD are irrefutable. Online sales have reached 10% of the share of sales on mass consumption during the covid period vs. 5.7% in 2019 (including drive). (Source: Nielsen / FEVAD, 2020). At the same time, GetApp’s study on shopping and virtual reality reveals: “49% of consumers perceive virtual reality shopping as a way to reduce exposure to the risk of COVID-19 infection“. Virtual reality then becomes a quick experience that meets today’s health standards.


These two trends reflect a profound change in consumer habits and will most certainly continue over the long term. If we look at Asia, or the United States, we can also clearly see that consumer habits have changed, a return to the past is unlikely.

The retail sector certainly faces difficulties, but the solutions provided by virtual reality allow you to take up this challenge. The Retail VR team is at your disposal to accompany you in your steps.

Let’s get in touch now!