Best of the Week: The Effects Of COVID-19 On Our Shopping Habits
Published 11 months ago by

These days the very thought of making a trip to the local mall to get a few supplies seems difficult. With the continued rise of Corona Virus cases and deaths both in South Africa and around the world, it has become quite the challenge to survive and also stay safe. Today, people are shopping far more cautiously and prudently which has greatly shifted consumer buying habits.

Image Source: The South African Report

Reliance on technology: 

Image Source: Good Housekeeping

When simply jumping into your car or catching an Uber to pick up a few supplies for the house just isn’t as safe anymore, you turn to online shopping. Although many online retailers are not functional anymore as far as fashion and other non-essential products go, many customers are still turning to online platforms to fulfill their needs. Therefore, as a result we see a surge of online shopping users which not only shifts the direction of consumerism in the present but for the future as well. In a place where digital and all things technology are taking over, modern day consumers need to be technologically fit in order to navigate through the 4ir era.

Potential underlying alcohol issues:

Image Source: Delft Mall Shopping Centre

With all the news of liquor store burglaries and mob thefts being reported in and around South Africa, it raises issues of whether the country has potential underlying alcohol problems. As part of the precautionary procedures taken to fight the spread of the Corona Virus, it was ruled that alcohol sales would be limited. However, given the manner in which people are reacting to this new regulation, it opens up conversations around the level of dependency South African might have towards alcohol as an essential for everyday living.

The stocking culture:

Image Source: Jacaranda FM

Lastly, we tackle the stocking culture which has come up as a trend not only within South Africa but across the borders as well. Out fear and anxiousness of running out of supplies during the Corona Virus lockdown and quarantining period, large numbers of consumers have recently adopted a stocking shopping culture which has unnecessarily left many grocery store shelves empty. In the rush of this act, consumers do not consider others leaving many with limited products from which to shop from. And in some cases, this splurging mentality has gone onto create even greater problems like food waste due to the large purchasing of fresh food products such as everyday essentials like milk and bread.

For the most part, all three consumer shopping habits located above have one common thread running through them of fear which has gone onto affect the rationalization of consumers’ buying decisions. The best way forward now would be to stay informed and not let emotions caused by the Corona Virus take over when shopping next time.

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