Coronavirus (COVID-19) has left a profound impact on China’s consumer goods and service sectors. China was the first major economy to recover to pre-pandemic levels; Euromonitor International’s analysts on the ground in China deliver insights into the recovery stories and lessons one year from lockdown on eight industries. These insights on consumer behaviour changes and industry trends might also follow in other regions that are stepping into recovery.
Economic instability changes consumer spending behaviour in a more profound and complicated way. Repatriated luxury expenditure from the young affluent class is surprisingly resilient, but mass consumers were looking for short-term budget targets not directly related to health and hygiene, when making no compromise for hard hygiene products, ie disinfectants. Corporates need to be aware of consumers’ shopping prioritisation and opportunities in expenditure flow (shift to domestic market) amid and post-COVID-19.
Consumer awareness of emotional and physical wellbeing has been heightened by the pandemic and will stay. Despite cautious spending likely to linger for mass consumers, holistic health, home hygiene and internal happiness are nevertheless long-term shifts and should be the focus of corporates’ recovery and innovation strategy. NPDs that focus on strengthening immunity, creating a hygienic and comfortable home, as well as happiness enhancement solutions have proven valid in China.
Corporates need to rethink about going digital and grow agilely. Strengthening e-commerce to achieve channel diversification is merely one aspect of building digital agility in the post-COVID-19 era - boundless engagement with consumers through a mix of omnichannel marketing tactics and digital solutions that redefine offline business are even more crucial to shape agility and grow resilience in the face of disruptive incidents such as the pandemic. Corporates should also be ready for organisational restructure to facilitate agility.
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