Consumer Behavior

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Shift in Consumer Shopping Behavior

Shift to Online Shopping

The worldwide pandemic accelerated digitization and e-commerce growth, leading to a shift in consumer shopping behavior in recent months. So how has consumer shopping behavior changed? Specifically, more consumers are turning to online stores rather than conventional retail establishments. For instance, due to the impact of Covid-19 on consumer shopping behavior, people in Southeast Asia were migrating online for food delivery and supplies. Businesses similarly switched their operations online in order to reach out to customers who made a shift in buying behavior after physical stores were forced to close. Nevertheless, with the world returning to a ‘new normal’, retail and ecommerce businesses should adopt an omnichannel strategy to capture consumers regardless of channel.

Factors Affecting Consumer Shopping Behavior

There are three factors that influence consumer shopping behavior, which assist in understanding consumer behavior. They include research, recommendations and reviews, and returns. The first one is research. Buyers are increasingly conducting their own “research” before visiting a retailer’s location or website to buy a product. Next, recommendations and reviews have a significant impact on consumer shopping behavior. As a first step in acquiring preliminary information about an item or service, customers prefer to go online to read user feedback and expert reviews. As a result, merchant-sponsored information—including retailer blogs, advertising, user guides, and so on—is losing ground to user-generated reviews and content as the primary influences of purchase decisions. The last factor is returns, which have become an accepted part of both the buying process and business. Many reasons may cause returns, such as consumer dissatisfaction, consumer’s remorse, and at times due to buyers not examining the product carefully before purchasing products.

Consumer Shopping Habits Post-pandemic

Because of the impact of Covid-19, online shopping has become one of the most prominent consumer shopping behavior trends. That being said, in-store shopping still remains relevant.Surveys have shown that consumers plan to mix in-store and online shopping. Moreover, consumers are discovering new e-commerce delivery methods such as curbside pickup or collection points delivery. We believe these shifts in consumer shopping behavior are likely to persist even after Covid.

Types of Consumer Shopping Behavior

The first is complex buying behavior, which is used when purchasing a product that is expensive, rarely purchased, high in risk, self-expressive, and a one-time investment. Thus, the consumer has to spend a long time examining the alternatives, form beliefs and attitudes about the product, and then decide to buy and invest. The second type of consumer shopping behavior is dissonance reducing purchasing behavior. Such behavior is primarily concerned with eliminating post-buy dissonance as a result of past purchase unhappiness. The third type is habitual buying behavior. This behavior is often observed if the product is inexpensive and purchased regularly Finally, variety seeking buying behavior is seen if a consumer shifts between brands not because they were dissatisfied with their prior purchase, but because they want to try out something new or different.