Consumers in the “Hibernate and spend” segment – who are mostly aged 18-44 – are those most concerned about the impact of the pandemic. But only 40% of them say they are shopping less frequently. And while 42% say the products they buy have changed significantly, 46% of them say brands are now more important to them.
The Index shows much bigger changes in the “Cut deep” segment. These consumers – who are mainly over 45 – have seen the most impact on their employment. Almost a quarter have had their jobs suspended, either temporarily or permanently. Seventy-eight percent of them are shopping less frequently, and 64% are only buying the essentials. In contrast to the Hibernate and spend segment, 33% of consumers here feel brands are now far less important to them.
Our Index will track the way these segments evolve and highlight any new ones that emerge, as this immediate phase of the crisis unfolds.
What happens next? Track the transition
Looking beyond the immediate effects of the pandemic, few consumers expect to go back to their old behaviors any time soon. As with many of the shocks we encounter in life, people are in a mood to pause and reflect. The Index gives substance to that anecdotal observation.
We’ve asked consumers what they believe they will do once they feel the crisis is over. This doesn’t tell us what they will actually do, but it does enable us to track their changing expectations about the future.
The chart below maps how the four segments we have identified now could morph into five very different ones as the crisis abates. For example, the Index currently suggests that over time most consumers in the “Save and stockpile” segment will migrate to two new segments that we call “Remain frugal” and “Cautiously extravagant.”