This “always on emergency” mindset is not only a result of living under COVID-19. The geopolitical and economic landscape has become increasingly unstable and unpredictable. Concerns about inflation are growing. Supply chains continue to be fragile. Climate change is becoming a priority for everyone.
Consumers might be worrying less about COVID-19, but they have plenty of concerns to take its place.
- Thirty-five percent feel lonelier now than prior to the pandemic
- Fifty-two percent are much less likely to go out now unless they have to
- Seventy-five percent are concerned about their finances
Their financial and mental well-being is under stress, they are exhausted by the pandemic, and this is affecting how they feel about spending money. The majority of consumers want to build up their savings, and it’s the younger generations – often seen as the most spendthrift – who are most determined to pile up a cash reserve.
2. People value quality more – of product, experience and time
Post-pandemic consumers are setting new priorities around how and when they use their money and time. Many learned to live with less during the pandemic, now they want to buy better rather than more. People also want to consume less overall. 59% are thinking more carefully about how they spend their money.
Being at home more has shown many people that they own too much stuff. They want a space that’s less cluttered, and they are more aware of the environmental impact of throwing things out. Others have had to cut back because their finances are tight.
Consumers are avoiding spending on unnecessary products and experiences – not just because that’s good for their finances, but because it’s good for the planet. Ownership no longer confers status. There’s growing interest in products and services that can be kept in circulation longer, through rental, subscription, or resale. For example, 53% say they are more likely to repair something than replace it, if they can.
Saving money is the top reason for no longer purchasing physical goods, but there are nuances across geographies with consumers in India, China, Mexico and Brazil doing so from a need to help the environment.
At a category level, the shift to new priorities is pronounced. For example, 48% say the pandemic showed them they have more clothes than they need; 47% say they do not need to rely on beauty products or cosmetics because they feel more comfortable in their own skin.