Retail Needs To Respond To Post-Pandemic Shopping Patterns, Deloitte Study Finds

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Retail Needs To Respond To Post-Pandemic Shopping Patterns, Deloitte Study Finds

While it has made great strides over the past two years reacting to changing consumer behaviours, the retail sector now needs to respond to new working patterns in a post-pandemic world, a new study by Deloitte has found.

The Our Plan for Change report, published by Deloitte and launched at the recent World Retail Congress in Rome, has ‘taken the temperature’ of consumers in 21 countries around the world, and noted that the pandemic has led to a shift in how shoppers are choosing to spend their time.

Of the 21,000 respondents, close to half (44%) have become more focused on 'personal changes' over the past year, with over a third (36%) prioritising wellbeing, mental health and a better quality of life.

Work-Life Balance

In addition, more consumers are seeking to obtain a better work-life balance, with 34% of respondents saying they are 'taking more time to enjoy today', with the number saying they are 'working harder to get ahead' at 22%.

'We have had a lot of time to think and we are thinking a lot about time,' the report says. 'Lost opportunities and daunting health concerns made many of us realise just how precious our time is and how careful we should be about how we choose to spend it.'


Elsewhere, 28% of respondents are prioritising 'purpose' in their lives, compared to 18% that are focused on 'earning more', further illustrating the shift in priorities.

The report found that whilst there has been some drift back to offices, people are still working an average of almost three days a week from home, and in every country polled people would increase that proportion if they could.

This indicates the need for retailers to alter their supply chains, shifting more focus to more local areas, but it also may require new strategies to hold on to workers, Deloitte said.

Permanent Changes In Behaviour

'In rapid fashion, the physical location where hundreds of millions of people around the world spent their time changed,' the report said. 'With each passing month, these changes appear more permanent and the implications span both customer and employee.


'If time has more value, people are likely to go to greater lengths to own it or at least better control it. For the retail industry, where the majority of employees can’t work from home, employees could seek more workplace flexibility as a means of better control.'

Sustainability is also increasingly front of mind for consumers, with three in five shoppers changing at least one aspect of their behaviour to help address climate change. A similar percentage have purchased a sustainable product or service in the past month.

The report shows that retailers need to respond and cater to consumers that are 'more aware of the value of time – from where they spend it, to what they spend it on', according to Deloitte.

You can download the full report here.

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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