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Nearly Half of Consumers Tried A New Store Last Year

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The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on established consumer behaviour is marked, according to data from Nielsen.

Globally, nearly one-half (45%) of consumers said they had shopped at a new store in September, at a time when the coronavirus had been having an impact for over six months. This is an increase from 39% in May, when the outbreak was still in a relatively early stage.

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Consumers in Africa and the Middle East plus Asia Pacific are most likely to be shopping at new stores, at three-fifths in September. In contrast, a still sizable but smaller one-third say the same in North America and Europe.

Nielsen adds that this is partly a result of working from home, which has shifted spending away from shops near the workplace and to more residential areas. This has ultimately affected the number and concentration of stores that account for 80% of FMCG sales, those known as “golden stores”.

Changing stores isn’t the only new habit, though. Buying online and picking up in-store has also proven appealing, while e-commerce growth for FMCG brands has delivered higher basket spend. Additional data show that the changes in spending vary significantly depending on how badly the consumer has been affected by COVID-19.

This gives retailers and brands a clear opportunity to attract and engage new audiences – it would be valuable to focus on the consumers with a 20-80% probability of purchasing, known as the “movable middle”. Emotionally and creatively engaging consumers will also be vital, possibly through packaging redesigns. This should be underpinned by a clear mapping out of the customer journey, as the purchase process has become increasingly fragmented.

Credit: WARC

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