4 minute read 6 Aug 2020
New ways of living life in a pandemic

What are the new ways of living life in a pandemic?

By EY India

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

4 minute read 6 Aug 2020

As the country moves to the next and beyond phase of the pandemic, our survey reveals that a large part of the population will continue to remain cautious and transform the way we work, live and play. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly one of the biggest global crises of this generation witnessing massive shifts in the consumer behaviour with new norms, regulations and updates to counter the disease. The EY Consumer Survey titled Life in a pandemic aims at understanding the needs, challenges and preferences of people across the next three months of the pandemic. It also plans to study the difference between temporary and permanent behavioural changes. 

Lockdown has encouraged new adoption and increased usage of digital solutions to work, play, learn, socialize, and manage health, finances and households. The study which is based on the findings of a survey of 2,033 Indian consumers across the urban, adult population across India, highlights the shift in consumer behaviour and perception changes over several prominent aspects around their lives as the sentiment continued to evolve during the nation-wide lockdown.  Consumers indicate an intention to depict their newly adopted behaviors post COVID-19.

Anxiety and fear caused by the pandemic is need of the hour: 70% of the population continues to grapple with fear and anxiety. Therefore, brands must exercise caution and practice empathy while serving customers as some continue to be deeply affected by the uncertainties caused by the pandemic.

Steep rise in online education: While 80% of the student population is leveraging online platforms to continue with their education, 46% students expressed openness to pursue online courses, presenting an opportunity for educational institutes to enter the edu-tech space. Thereby, providing more scope for the introduction of short-term and long-term courses that come with university certification.

Higher willingness to work remotely: With 94.5% of the working respondents having settled into remote working set-ups, the survey findings clearly outlined higher productivity levels while working-from-home and perhaps even higher satisfaction levels among those preferring to spend time with family.

Interactions with local community: While consumers are leveraging digital tools and feel more connected than ever before, it was observed that 54% of the population encouraged each other to adhere to the lockdown. Local communities were back in spotlight with 1/5th wanting to be more connected to their neighbours.

Health and fitness, becoming an everyday preoccupation: With mental wellbeing becoming a major priority, there was a steep uptick in consumption of online fitness and health programs. Online doctor consultations gained momentum too, with 32% respondents having availed these services. 79% of the population continues to focus on improving their eating habits with 56% engaging in housework and 32% are participating in home workouts. More time spent at home, lack of house-help and positive outcomes are helping people stay motivated to continue their health endeavours.

This pandemic, most respondents are looking to postpone large spends and are instead focusing on essentials. Almost half are moving to defer all large spends on events, vacations, purchases of automobiles where 29% respondents are considering cancelling events, functions, etc., and more than half want to reduce spending on all non-essentials. With the festive period yet to start, a new retail strategy on how to attract consumers is the need of the hour.

Stay-at-home is the new trend: There will be an increased spending on home, furniture, fast devices, home ergonomics and connectivity to make the life easier and to minimize the efforts.

Consumers are eager to return to travelling but will wait until they feel it is safe to do so: As soon as the lockdown is over, only 14% respondents will focus on curated, nearby experiences which are affordable and safe.

According to the survey, people will continue to be cautious after the lockdown is over, and most transactional activities such as shopping in a mall, travelling, eating out, going to the theatre, etc. will be postponed for at least three months after the lockdown is lifted. There is willingness and a growing propensity towards availing services online with convenience and safety. 


Key trends that have emerged during the lockdown have not only transformed the way people function but has also paved the path for new ways of living. The largest driving factor enabling this change is the convenience and safety that is afforded by online solutions.

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By EY India

Multidisciplinary professional services organization