Across the globe, the pandemic has led to major shifts in business conditions for both B2B and B2C companies. The global efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak have also changed the daily habits of consumers, consumption patterns, and ways of thinking, resulting in a demand for online services across various categories, including entertainment and essential items delivered using innovative non-contact methods.

Whether by necessity or desire, consumers are moving their purchases online. And some of these consumers, who never engaged in online shopping prior to the outbreak, may not go back to shopping like they used to. As a result, many e-commerce businesses are experiencing sizable growth. How has Covid-19 affected customer behaviors? Let's take a look!

  1. People pay more attention to health and hygiene.

The COVID-19 outbreak makes us totally aware of how important health and hygiene are. This is proofed by the data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) that the purchase of health and hygiene products is increasing around 75% and it becomes an addition to other primary needs.

  1. We only purchasing necessities of food and personal needs

Many people are now more sensible when it comes to spend their money. Nowadays, people are more interested in fulfilling primary needs first, such as food and their personal needs ahead of other non-essential needs.

  1. Online shopping is the way to go

The long quarantine period has reduced community activities outside. We who are forced to stay at home to avoid contracting the virus are shopping online to fulfill their daily needs, and this new habit may continue even when the pandemic has ended.

As we may know, this pandemic has brought a lot changes for consumers’ behavior. When customer behaviors changed, the businesses will adapt to it automatically to survive. Related to the changes in customer behaviors, what are the impacts of COVID-19 for e-commerce? Online shopping habit has started a few years back. Some people prefer to go to a physical store to buy their necessities, but due to the current prohibition to leave the house and social distancing are serving us with one only way to shop, that is online shopping. This situation is forcing more and more people to make an online transaction. Based on data below, it shows an increase in online sales by April as much as 36 billion GMV during the COVID-19 period. There is also a rise in a daily transaction as much as 4,8 million transactions during this pandemic.

Katadata has made a research on the E-commerce growth during pandemic which showed that there is a raise on sales around 26% compare to monthly sales average on the second quarter of 2019 and new consumers also raise around 51% during PSBB. It is clear that there has been an increase in online sales during the COVID-19 period. Apart from the rise in online sales, there has also been an increase in online business registrations. Many have become aware of establishing online businesses. It is due to outside activities restrictions so that retailers and wholesalers have to switch to online sales or e-commerce. It is proof by the increase of new consumers as much as 51% who first time doing online shopping and soaring demand as much as 5-7 times during this pandemic. However, social distancing also has an impact on logistics delivery, which makes the delivery duration takes a longer time than the usual delivery time.

Those facts have led us to this question: will these changes stay once daily customer life has returned to a level of normalcy? We predicted the new habits that are formed during a pandemic are likely will stay even after the pandemic. For example, the habits of paying attention to hygiene will be maintained even after the pandemic, because it causes a good effect on health, not only to avoid the coronavirus.

As for the online transaction habit for new customers, old habits will be difficult to overcome because they may feel uncomfortable with online transactions and still want to visit the physical store to be able to see goods directly. However, customers who are familiar with online shopping will experience different things because those who are used to it will find online shopping easier and timesaving.

Author: Nisa Imanda (Account Manager)