How the Covid-19 Pandemic is Influencing Customer Buying Behavior

Apr 2, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, customer buying behavior and spending patterns are dramatically changing. Today, customers worldwide are trying to stave off uncertainties by stacking up food and utility supplies. The pandemic has caused a big boost to online grocery shopping, especially household staples and health-related goods, such as bottled water, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, face masks, and much more. While the fashion and other luxury goods market continues to slide. However, customer buying behavior and spending trends for health-related goods and emergency pantry items differ. To help retailers stay proactive and plan their next moves, the experts at Infiniti Research have outlined the key customer trends observed globally.

An accelerated shift from st­ore to e-commerce in grocery

Our initial survey in March revealed that around 27% of customers had already changed their buying behavior. While the survey conducted this week shows that the number nearly doubled to 58% as the government implemented precautionary measures such as store closure and social distancing to prevent the coronavirus spread. Consequently, e-commerce platforms are witnessing dramatic spikes in sales, which are driven by new customers trying online grocery shopping. As such, online brands are compelled to stack their online inventory to maximize profitability.

Yet another trend observed is that local retailers in the COVID-19 affected areas are witnessing an increase in product demand, compelling them to order inventory from their online counterparts. In a way, this is even helping e-commerce businesses to maintain profitability during this period.

Facing difficulties in stocking up supplies based on customer buying behavior? Our customer segmentation analysis can help you to identify different market segments and get a deeper understanding of buyer characteristics based on behavioral, psychographic, and profile variables. RFP here.

Customers doing bulk shopping

The unpredictable nature of the coronavirus outbreak is compelling shoppers to stock up and buy in bulk. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, customers were accustomed to getting anything they needed within a day or two. However, the situation is not the same anymore. Major online stores are not accepting new grocery orders for now as they are facing exceptionally high demand for delivery slots. As a result, the trend of placing large orders seems to be on the rise. A recent report from Infiniti Research shows that in the four weeks ending March 22, a record amount of groceries was spent at supermarkets across the world, especially in the European region. Demand for groceries has soared to such a huge amount that e-commerce giants are unable to fulfill customer needs and requirements. 


Spike in shelf-stable products and depleting markets for fresh and exotic foods

The demand for fresh and exotic food items is declining and there is a rising demand for packaged or canned food products. This is because customers are not willing to take the risks of consuming items that may have traveled long distances and exchanged many hands with little or no way to prove their hygiene quotient. Instead, consumers are increasingly opting for packaged food items that are risk-free.

Owing to this changing customer buying behavior, retailers will need to conduct thorough market research and gather data-driven insights to efficiently make their next moves. Also, analyzing customer buying behavior, spending patterns, and usage is a way forward for businesses to gain a competitive advantage in the long run.

Understand customer buying behavior and meet their needs by uncovering factors influencing product or service loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases. Contact us to leverage our customer intelligence solution.

food companies where customers demand the highest safety. These strategic initiatives can help businesses to build trust and enhance sales.

How Business Can Respond to Changing Customer Buying Behavior

#1 Emphasize on Quality and Efficacy

As customers demand products that are free of risks and of the highest quality, businesses must focus on communicating how their products are risk-free. For instance, food companies can specify safety measures undertaken by them while manufacturing and packing products to build the trust of customers.

#2 Be transparent about local origins

Today, shoppers demand complete transparency from farm to factory to distribution and details of procedures undertaken to assure product safety. In this context, promoting a product’s local origin can help businesses to drive sales. 

#3 Leverage technology

With digital connectivity taking a greater hold on everyday habits post the coronavirus outbreak, businesses that leverage the latest technologies and enable seamless interaction through direct-to-consumer offerings are expected to gain a competitive advantage. 

By keeping a continuous track of customer buying behavior, businesses can better plan a contingency plan and act smartly. Our customer intelligence solution can help you understand changing customer buying behavior and spending patterns. Request more info here.

We help our clients make smarter decisions to achieve rapid business growth

Our strength lies in the unrivaled diversity of our international market research teams, innovative research methodologies, and unique viewpoints that merge seamlessly to offer customized solutions for your every business requirement.

Recent Thoughts

Market Sizing – When is it most effective?

Market Sizing – When is it most effective?

Written By: Gaurav Sharma Overview Market Size of a product/service is necessary for every business. But why? It’s an indicator that can help you assess the profit potential of your business. You always want to be a step ahead of your competitor(s) when doing business...

read more


Our knowledge hub offers exclusive access to a collection of free resources and downloadable articles that provide insights into market developments and details on how our services can benefit your business.