Certain consumption habits will remain even after Corona

A study by GfK has investigated how the pandemic has changed the population's consumption habits. The results show that new needs will continue to impact the consumption habits of the Swiss population. However, some phenomena are already slowing down.

Since April 2020, GfK Switzerland has been continuously surveying consumers aged 16 to 74 about their biggest concerns. GfK is currently observing a return of topics that were already highly relevant before the pandemic - climate change and environmental pollution are currently more central again than the pandemic.

However, the issue of a pandemic is still high on the list of major concerns, especially among the population over 60 years of age.

Economic consequences of the pandemic

The vast majority of Swiss people aged 30 and over are now somewhat more reassured again about the economic consequences of the corona pandemic. They are more optimistic about their job situation again than in recent months, but around one-fifth are still worried that their job situation will be negatively affected, for example in the form of redundancy. Younger people up to the age of 29 in particular are also still worried about their financial future.

Convenience remains, physical experience becomes more important again

Consumers' lives have not changed much since the first lockdown, but they have changed since before the pandemic. Topics such as "simplification" remain important.

However, the desire for experiences is slowly returning among consumers - leading to dynamics in both directions. In the area of simplification or convenience, it can be seen that around two thirds of the consumers surveyed say they have shopped online in the last week. One third of all respondents want to use home delivery even more intensively in the future. This seems to be an ongoing dynamic that will continue to challenge retailers and logistics.

Digital on-demand media providers such as Netflix and Spotify also gained strongly from the pandemic and further consolidated their position. Here, too, there is a need for individuality and tailored experiences, which was accelerated once again by the pandemic.

"However, the opposite side is also exciting, the physical experience is also becoming more important again: we are finding that consumers are again less likely to say they want to go to brick-and-mortar stores less in the future," said Michel Rahm, Consumer Intelligence Expert. "While this figure was around one-third not long ago, only around one in four consumers now say this - respondents want to get out again, want to participate in life again."

Positive signs for the upcoming summer

Consumers are generally relatively confident - or long for a change of scenery and are already planning their vacations for the summer.

Only one in five currently categorically rules out a vacation, while around 80 percent have either already planned something or are still considering it. It is noticeable that the distance of the vacation destination is likely to increase again somewhat.

Although 36 percent of respondents stay in their home country, about the same number are planning vacations abroad. It is striking that more than half of those traveling abroad are planning to go on vacation by car or train. Only one in ten of those surveyed wants to take a plane within Europe, and only about one in twenty is enthusiastic about a vacation overseas.

Vaccination readiness of respondents

The prerequisites for vacations abroad would be relaxations, such as those that could be achieved through vaccination. In May, GfK surveyed the Swiss population for the first time on their willingness to be vaccinated. More than 70 percent want to be vaccinated against Corona. Only around 16 percent of respondents explicitly said they would not be vaccinated.

More than a quarter of respondents have now even received one or two injections, and another third already have appointments, or at least have already registered.

For the GfK Consumer Life Trends" study were representative online surveys on consumer behavior, attitudes and values were conducted before, during and after the first and second (partial) lockdown in German- and French-speaking Switzerland.

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