Emodo, an Ericsson company focused on data activation and monetization, today released research demonstrating how consumer attitudes will determine the ways in which COVID-19 era shopping trends for consumer packaged goods (CPG) are likely to shift in the future. The data reveals sweeping shifts in consumer behavior that resulted from shelter-in-place orders across the nation, from a shift in the primary household shopper to a spike in DIY product interest.

The quantitative research study comes from the company’s dedicated research and education arm, the Emodo Institute, which aims to help marketers make better-informed campaign decisions and achieve better results. Surveying more than 1,000 consumers, balanced for demographic and employment status, Emodo asked a variety of shopping behavioral questions and COVID-19 attitudinal questions and uncovered a number of insightful trends for advertisers, including the following:

As the world stays home, household gender stereotypes fall away

Stereotypically, the primary shopping role is held by women, but Emodo’s findings challenge this narrative. Since the start of the pandemic, there’s been a significant decline in the percentage of moms reporting to be primary shoppers in the household, as 59% of households report dads have taken on this role. The study also finds that dads are much more fluid in how they shop, whether it be live, digitally, or in-store pickup. The dad demographic shops very differently, appearing to be much less brand loyal and more likely to switch if they can’t find their usual brand, presenting a key opportunity for challenger brands.

It’s clear that evolving gender roles have had a significant impact on not just who does the grocery shopping in U.S. households, but how consumers shop. Marketers looking to succeed in a post-COVID world may want to reconsider their preconceived notions and tailor their message to the male demographic, and not just for products that are primarily marketed to men. 

Not just at-home haircuts: consumers take to DIY in droves

With non-essential businesses closed and the world forced to stay home, consumers have adjusted with DIY efforts instead. Emodo’s data shows 64% of consumers are cooking more from scratch, and 58% are trying new recipes. Shoppers that are experimenting with new brands are nearly 3X more likely to buy more DIY products.

To successfully retain or win this customer base, marketers will want to help consumers build confidence about how to do things that they’re used to paying others to do, be it beauty, cooking, home improvement, or even auto work. With proper support, DIY could become a hobby that lasts far beyond shelter-in-place.

Millennials & GenZ take solace in retail therapy in quarantine

Millennials show the largest increase in grocery shopping, clothing shopping, pets shopping, in-store shopping, and delivery services. Of those categories, both Millennials and GenZ show a much higher level of personal care product shopping -- 29% and 28% increase respectively -- double that of other age groups. Additionally, Millennials report an increase in alcohol purchases that exceed other generations, as nearly half (40%) report an increase compared to 25% reported from other age groups.

Already known for their attention to self-care, Millennials and GenZ are indulging their purchase behavior as they stay home, making younger generations a key demographic for marketers. These insights will change how marketers maneuver the new retail landscape, not only for the next few months but potentially for years to come.

Marketers must stay active in market

“The biggest takeaway for marketers is how critical a role they play in getting their customers to feel comfortable with shopping again. More than half of consumers say that a lifting of shelter-in-place orders is not enough to get them back to normal, and almost 40% say the same even about the existence of a vaccine,” explained Jake Moskowitz, Head of the Emodo Institute at Ericsson Emodo. “Marketers have an opportunity to actively inform and reassure reluctant consumers and help them feel safe.”  

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