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BW Businessworld

Decoding The Post-Covid Consumer

Consumers are used to impulse purchases, where physical retail gave that leverage to people to casually walk in and pick and choose multiple options depending on their mood and preferences.

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I believe fashion is directly related to one’s personality. The fact that fashion reflects who you are and not what you see out there or what society wants you to do. Post the pandemic that will definitely be a development we will see in consumers. People have learned to do things for themselves now, even if it is sitting at home and dressing up or looking good, individuals are doing it for themselves and not bowing to societal pressure to look or dress a certain way. This opens up the consumer’s mind to their values, priorities, and yes, even their own sense of style. 

Another potential change in consumer behavior will be purchasing products that they can be consumed in a versatile manner. Individuals will start investing in products that can be used and styled for various events and different occasions. Season less fashion will be highlighted during this time.

One trend is ‘less waste’! What often happens is that brands in the fashion and luxury space produce in volumes and then try to sell it. However, the pandemic resulted in back piling of stock and excess inventory, with retail being shut down for a long time and a slump in sales. 

What we may see is a reverse engineering of the production cycle where fashion brands are going to use technology and methods to test out certain products or capsule collections, evaluate the market reaction for the product in demand and produce thereafter. This will hopefully lead to mindful production that goes hand in hand with the consumer’s needs and demands. 

The other trend is innovation in the retail space. There will also be a higher focus on interpersonal relationships, as it will be that much harder to achieve that virtually. Nowadays, people have gotten used to virtual consumption but at the same time, virtual consumption is harder to convert in terms of sales. 

Generally, consumers are used to impulse purchases, where physical retail gave that leverage to people to casually walk in and pick and choose multiple options depending on their mood and preferences. Since that is expected to reduce post the pandemic; on one hand, retailers will notice the benefits of reducing real estate of renting out shop spaces, and reducing workforce and so on, but will also find it harder in terms of conversions and brand loyalty in the virtual space. 

Therefore, innovative measures that create a hybrid model between virtual and physical will be the winners. Examples such as single large experiential stores versus multiple retail points, omni-channel sales, one on one client experiences, personal shopping, private viewings, at-home shopping and others will be an interesting phenomenon. This is oddly similar to the era where luxury departmental stores like Selfridges or Harrods used to go the extra mile to make your shopping experience memorable which gives the real feel of luxury.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Aisha Saraf Kothari

Founder, AiSpi

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