What do customers want? Behavioural shifts post lockdown

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Consumer behaviour

What do customers want? Behavioural shifts post lockdown

Consumer behaviour – how people consume, and use goods and services are impacted by a number of factors. Global Pandemic restrictions, lockdowns, and economic declines pivot consumer behaviour dramatically and quickly. Business owners need to be aware of these changes to meet new or emerging customer expectations. From research, we have identified four areas that retailers will see changes. Using these insights retailers can adapt to meet their customers’ needs.


As economies decline, job losses increase and consumer confidence drop, customer behaviour alters spending. Customers become more conscientious about their spending, reduce food waste, and aim to get a much as possible for their money.
For retailers, this means own-brand or discount brands will have a higher demand and non-essential purchases will be reduced. Retailers should review promotions to ensure they are relevant to what customers need. Communication content like simple recipes or budget shopping in-store are helpful and add value for customers.


As a result of travel restrictions, cocooning and increased numbers working from home, shopping local has never been so important to consumers. Even as restrictions have eased, people are still trying to stay close to home and shopping in multiple stores has fallen by the wayside. Consumers are also opting for one large shop rather than daily shopping. The large grocery stores meet these demands. However, the convenience stores are the shops of choice for consumers that prefer to stay local.

Health and Wellbeing

The lockdown and the scare of a health crisis have caused people to evaluate their lives and habits and place emphasis on health, wellbeing, and community. People have increased their spending on personal, home and hygiene products as well as healthy food products. For retailers, attention should be given to product authenticity, product traceability, health benefits and its impact on the environment. Community engagement and communication with consumers will be essential for retailers going forward.


Lockdown led to a sudden adoption of online shopping and consumers opted for services such as home delivery and click and collect. This trend is here to stay, according to Dunhumby, online sales are between 2 and 4 times those seen pre-COVID 19. For retailers’ partnering with fulfilment companies like uber eats and Deliveroo could help fulfil delivery demands and expand this aspect of their business. In a recent article by John Kennedy (BOI), he says, “that a real growth opportunity is available if a frictionless, efficient, reliable service can be delivered.” 

 Other areas for digital growth in the sector are 

 Pre-trip planning to avoid crowds – this could be facilitated through a mobile app. 

Touch-free replacements for payment, receipts, vouchers – again this could be facilitated through a mobile app.

Reducing one on one contact through self- service checkouts.   Community and Engagement through an integrated loyalty programme

For more articles like this read Omnichannel strategy and its role for brands in the new normal

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