Consumer habits emerging from pandemic set to become permanent: Mastercard
June 29: The way we shop is changing and how we pay is evolving. As COVID-19 alters our daily lives, consumers in Asia Pacific are rapidly going digital with purchases of everything from groceries to movies in a shift that looks set to become a permanent habit after the pandemic passes, a research shows.
E-commerce and contactless payments continue to grow in popularity as people make the move to digital by default and we reduce our use of cash, according to the study by Mastercard in multiple markets around the world that analyzes the impact of current and future consumer behavior.
Sandeep Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Products & Innovation of Asia Pacific at Mastercard, said our shift to digital commerce is here to stay as people embrace the benefits of safety, security and convenience.
"Consumers now want on-demand products and services - whether it's food delivery, groceries, fitness courses, telemedicine, conferencing, learning or entertainment. This demand and these expectations will continue to drive e-commerce long after COVID-19 subsides,' he added.
He also added they conducted the study between April 27 and May 17 with a total of 6,750 adults interviewed across 15 countries including Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Russia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.
"As communities and economies emerge from the pandemic, the new consumer mindset sends a clear signal to merchants of all shapes and sizes that online shopping and touch-free transactions are essential to building the business and ensuring customer loyalty now and in the future." Sandeep Malhotra added.
The digital momentum created by greater internet access, the proliferation of smart devices and growing e-commerce is transforming how consumers buy and merchants sell. As lines blur between physical and digital, businesses must change how they think about every aspect - from customer interaction and retention to inventory, production and logistics.
With people concerned about safety and many stores shut during the COVID-19 outbreak, digital commerce revenues grew 20 per cent globally in the first quarter of 2020 from a year earlier, according to the Salesforce Shopping Index.
As we make digital by default a lasting habit, the Mastercard study highlights the need for businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, to move into e-commerce and have an online presence during and after the pandemic.
E-commerce is on the rise in Asia Pacific with 30per cent of people in Australia, 49per cent in India, 55per cent in China and 34per cent in Japan planning to make more purchases online. At the same time, consumers think less in-store shopping is here to stay - 38per cent in Australia, 68per cent in India, 57per cent in China and 40per cent in Japan.
The shift is underway globally as almost six in 10 consumers say the move to digital payments is likely to be permanent and nearly half plan to use cash less even after the pandemic passes. -UNB