Two consumer sentiment reports this week showed that confidence, in general, is low but there's hope for the future, although consumers in Britain are feeling less optimistic than those globally.
A new report from Cagemini looked specifically at the impact of the coronavirus on consumer shopping behavior and spoke to more than 11,000 global consumers at the beginning of April.
It found that 48% of people internationally are optimistic about recovery from the current crisis in the next six months and 70% in the next 12 months. But only 37% of UK shoppers are optimistic that Britain will recover within six months.
Some 59% of consumers worldwide said they had high levels of interaction with physical stores before COVID-19, but today only 24% are in that high-interaction category. And in the next six-to-nine months, only 39% of consumers expect a high level of interaction with physical stores.
And 57% of consumers would be more comfortable with complete in-store automation that doesn’t require them to touch anything post-pandemic. That would include contactless payments.
Consumer mindsets are also turning more towards long-lasting hygiene habits with 77% to be more cautious about cleanliness, health, and safety in the post-pandemic era. Nearly 62% will also switch to brands that show higher levels of product safety and 54% will prefer local items over imports due to safety concerns over the use of foreign products. This increased consumer awareness translates into increasing demand for safety measures during in-store shopping and delivery.
Meanwhile, looking directly at UK consumer confidence, the regular GfK monthly report showed confidence at -34 for April. This was the same level as of March, but was way below the levels of previous months and down from -13 in April 2019.
Importantly too, the Major Purchase Index that’s part of the overall figure was at -52. Again, that was the same as in March but down sharply from -1 in April last year.