Accenture Finds COVID-19 Permanently Changing Consumer Behaviors

Consumers are realigning their purchasing priorities, personal lifestyles, and working practices post-pandemic, according to an Accenture survey.

For one, they are seeking to upgrade their homes digitally. More than half plan to buy or increase their usage of Wi-Fi (77%), voice-enabled digital assistants (57%), intelligent home devices (56%), self-service apps (56%), online recommendation apps (56%) and wearable technology (53%).

“People who haven’t been as comfortable with ecommerce and other digital technology have been pushed to overcome their hesitancy — and this shift is huge,” explains Jill Standish, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s global retail practice. “As organizations adapt, their watchwords must be trust, relevance and convenience.”

The research also indicates many of the changes in consumer behavior are permanent, particularly regarding the environmental impact of their buying decisions. For instance, 64% of consumers are now focusing more on limiting food waste and will likely continue to do so going forward. Half (50%) have been shopping more health-consciously (though empty cookie shelves may demonstrate otherwise) and will likely to continue to do so.



Also, 45% of consumers said they’re making more sustainable choices when shopping and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

These findings collectively suggest a “healthier human habitation of the planet,” says Oliver Wright, managing director and head of Accenture’s global consumer goods practice. He adds it is “a wake-up call” for companies to ensure they have the agility and capability to be relevant to consumers.

The research queried more than 3,313 consumers in 15 countries April 2-6, 2020.

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