Ruchika Bhagat, Managing Head, Neeraj Bhagat & Co

Ruchika Bhagat carries the legacy forward with an aim to promote Strength, Inspiration, Entrepreneurship, and a focussed vision to take the business to new heights, after Mr. Neeraj Bhagat- Founder, Neeraj Bhagat & Co. passed away on 4th May 2021.  Neeraj Bhagat & Co. which is an ISO 9001: 2008 UKAS certified organization was founded by Late. Mr. Neeraj Bhagat in 1997. Ruchika graduated in 1996, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) since 1998. She specializes in Business Advisory, Tax, Regulatory and Risk Advisory. She is a strategic adviser in setting up businesses in India for foreign companies and taking care of its compliances.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is nowhere at halt to fatally affect the societies, economies and nations around the globe while hitting various sectors in the economy. It has forever altered consumer behaviour as it has squeezed all aspects of our lives. While, for many of us it has simply enhanced the adoption of behaviours already gaining power like digitalisation in sectors like shopping, banking and many more.

As we are on the path of economic recovery, these lockdowns have resulted in tremendous change for businesses operations, consumer behaviour and their everyday lives. The market already witnessed a splendid change in consumer behaviour in the first wave of the pandemic through an unprecedented increase in e-commerce operations worldwide. These changes were led by various Government measures, interventions and restrictions. Essential goods and service have changed their route to digital platforms.

Consumer Shopping Behaviour- How has it changed

We all have noticed evident changes in consumers’ purchasing behaviour mentioning the digital shift. Numerous surveys have found consumers focussing to obtain maximum value for the money spent shifting to value-based purchasing. There is a sharp decline on discretionary spending and comparatively a trending graph pointing incremental sales of essential goods and services. Categories of shopping which have observed an incredible increase include Essentials, Travel and Festive Spends.

When the consumer’s normal purchasing pattern is disrupted, the chances increase for them to try the new brands and local players get included in the competition.  This subsequently yields a better value as there is a probability that consumers will stick to the newly tried brands giving a shock to brand loyalty. Today, customers are more sentient of what they buy adapting to changing customer experiences and expectations.

Resilience and Adaptability have been identified as the two major dynamic forces of consumer behaviour during Covid-19.

Observing that consumers rely on digital channels for services as they still don’t feel comfortable doing in person, a positive customer experience will certainly play a crucial role in purchasing decisions and loyalty. The Consumer in 2021 demands Convenience and a streamlined customer experience.

Online Shopping is a buzzing trend

The pandemic has pushed shoppers and consumers online and this upward trend is likely to stay, even when physical stores and shops re-open their doors. Today, the consumer wants to buy everything online be it a hand sanitizer to groceries to skincare and even wellness products.

This boom in Online shopping has really advanced with the second wave as there is more focus on advertising and delivery, customer experience from the seller side

Amalgam of Physical and Virtual Resources has been observed by the consumers and they now believe more in an integrated experience. Digital Tools have made it easier for the elderly people to feel more related to the virtual world as they have seen the benefits when physical restrictions caused all our lives to come to a standstill mode. Earlier when shopping was mostly reserved for physical outlets, ecommerce has made it easier by showing us a more convenient and a transactional route.

A shift in consumers’ priorities has been experienced in markets as they eliminate buying nice-to-have items and limiting consumption except for groceries and in-home entertainment

Consumer behaviour has been re-defined during this unavoidable challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. This, in turn, has created a need for businesses to think on bringing strategic changes for sustainability and to rethink about the existing consumer behaviour models.

The next new normal in consumer behaviour may likely be structured on below mentioned dimensions

  • Spiritual Thinking in understanding consumer behaviour revolving around factors like economies of consumption, saving and health in mind
  • An accelerated path towards mobilisation of resources to cater the behaviour changes of consumers
  • Re-design and create new products and services as a gift to the new conscious consumer market

Following all the trends, the organisations are geared up to re design their marketing strategies for consumers. There is a strong desire to fulfil consumers immediate and future needs, as these have been reshaped this Covid 19 pandemic.

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