The events of 2020 have undoubtedly affected the Polish economy in many industries. Customer behaviour and habits have changed. Subsequent lockdowns, restrictions, new security rules and temporary closures of some facilities forced retail chains to make tentative decisions and adapt to the rules at lightning speed. The responsibility for safety in the stores fell not only on the chain’s employees but also on the customers themselves, who were forced to change their shopping habits as a result.
After the pandemic, people plan better and buy more
Although much of the stationary sales have moved to the Internet, not every network provides this opportunity, and not every customer takes advantage of these solutions. From March 2020, Poles go shopping prepared – with a shopping list. The data from the Listonic app seems to confirm it, as its popularity increased significantly when the pandemic began.
The limited number of people in stores, as well as the “senior hours”, minimized spontaneous purchases, as well as sales of impulse products. Today, users visit stores less frequently than before the pandemic but add more products to their shopping lists and pay more attention to what products go to their shopping carts.
According to an analysis by GfK, in the first quarter of 2021, the frequency of visits to stores fell by 12. 7% compared to the same period of 2020, resulting in 46 fewer visits per year. In contrast, the average value of the shopping basket increased by 20. 1%.
People are more price-sensitive and appreciate house brands
Customers have begun to come around the idea of “less is more”, i. e. rejecting mass products. Along with the discounters’ individual approach to customer groups, retail chains have stepped up the production of house brands.
According to data collected by analysts of GfK, over the last decade the share of house brands in the basket has been growing steadily and reached 19. 3%, and in 2 years this share will increase to 21. 2%.
According to Grzegorz Przytuła – a trade and customer products sector expert at EY Parthenon, the high financial uncertainty during the pandemic made customers more price-sensitive. From the data presented by EY Parthenon representative at Retail & FMCG Congress 2020, it is clear that customers pay more attention to the price/quality ratio. Customers’ uncertainty about their future financial situation made them more willing to save, which may lead to an increase in the share of cheaper brands (including house brands) in Poles’ shopping baskets.