Charts Show U. S. Shopping Behavior Is Changing

75% of consumers have tried a new shopping behavior, and most intend to continue it beyond the crisis.

American have picked-up low-touch activities, and some plan to continue them after the crisis.

Expected change to time allocation over the next 2 weeks

Americans are changing how they spend their time, dedicating more time to domestic activities, media, and news.

As economies reopen, 73 percent of consumers are still hesitant to resume regular activities outside the home. They are concerned about going to a hair salon, gym, or restaurant, but are especially worried about shared environments, such as public transportation, ride sharing, air travel, and being in crowded spaces, such as attending large indoor or outdoor events.

US consumer-segment behavior varies significantly across the next-normal trends. We have identified five customer segments driven by optimism, health, and financial concerns, each of relatively similar size. These five segments exhibit the consumer trends to a different degree and have the following characteristics:

Affluent and unaffected: These consumers express general optimism about the future (~20 percent higher than the overall US consumer population), skew male (60 percent), and make more than $100,000 a year. They tend to be able to stay at home during the pandemic crisis, allowing them to shop more online. This group is slightly less price sensitive than other cohorts due to greater job stability.

Uprooted and underemployed: These consumers are feeling major impact on both their finances and health due to job insecurity. They are cautious about how they spend money, with low optimism about future economic conditions. Not surprisingly, this group is trading down to essentials and value, swapping out brands, and shopping online when possible.

Financially secure but anxious: This population is largely 65 years old and older and is generally pessimistic about economic conditions after COVID-19, which has had a major impact on their habits. This group has expressed the greatest need for hygiene transparency, with above-average concerns on safety and well-being and concerns about the ability to get necessary supplies.

Out trying to make ends meet: These consumers are being cautious about how they spend money and feel that their jobs and job security have been heavily impacted by COVID-19. This group has significant representation from minority groups and rural populations. They are less likely to be able to stay at home (hence their lower likelihood to be part of the homebody economy), but they are strongly moving toward shopping for essentials and value.

Disconnected and retired: This category denotes those who are retired, over 65, and have a lower income level than the financially-secure-but-anxious segment. They are broadly optimistic about economic conditions after COVID-19 and are less likely to display any of the next-normal characteristics. Predominantly from Southern and suburban areas of the country, this group has not exhibited significant changes in shopping behavior.

Courtesy of McKinsey & Co. 

 

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