It does not come as a surprise that the corona pandemic and the associated measures to contain the virus severely affected consumer sentiment in April. That’s the result shown in the latest GfK survey "COVID-19 Consumer Pulse":
Worsening of financial situation
According to the survey 33% of Germans believe that the financial situation of their household will deteriorate in the next twelve months.
As a logical consequence one third say that they want to spend less money in future on buying durable products such as furniture, cars or televisions; 26% will forgo planned holidays; 8% will not buy furniture and 7% want to postpone the purchase of clothing, cars and luxury goods such as watches and jewelry.
Petra Süptitz, GfK expert in Consumer Insights, explains: "We assume that consumers will make very demand-oriented purchases in the near future. Deferred and still necessary purchases will be made up for. This includes products that are more closely tied to stationary retail, such as large electrical appliances requiring intensive advice, such as built-in appliances, but also smartphones, televisions, higher-value small electrical appliances such as fully automatic coffee machines and baby equipment.
Online purchases gain momentum
According to GfK, 70% of those surveyed in Germany bought products online in April. In the 16 to 29 age group, the figure was as high as 81 per cent.
This trend will continue in many product groups. Germans are planning further online purchases, for example of electronic goods or garden tools. GfK data from China show that, although stationary retail is slowly recovering after the end of the crisis, it is still 23% below the previous year (as of calendar week 17).
Stationary trade is expected to comply with hygiene concepts. In addition, new and also digital offers such as Click & Collect, online advice, delivery services or various payment methods will have to be created, and creative concepts that pay attention to the needs of consumers will have to be continued.
Süptitz continues: "Great opportunities are offered to retailers if they increasingly use digital apps and media for customer communication. One possibility, for example, could be to continuously inform consumers about times of low customer numbers or peak periods so that the rules of distance are better observed when shopping.”