E&Y: Pandemic is Creating New Consumer Segments

Research by E&Y has identified four consumer segments that have emerged and five that will appear after the COVID-19 crisis. For the newly emerged segments, E&Y states that common concerns at the beginning of the pandemic, such as health worries of family members, loss of freedom, and the ability to buy basic needs, are manifesting themselves differently, as consumers embrace new behaviors.

The four new segments that have emerged are:

  • Save and stockpile consumers (35%) are not “so concerned about the pandemic, but worried about their families. Pessimistic about the long-term effects.”
  • Cut deep, 27% of consumers, are “hardest hit by the pandemic. Most pessimistic about the future. Spending less across all categories.”
  • Stay calm, carry on consumers are “not changing their spending habits. Not directly impacted by the pandemic. Worried that others are stockpiling.” This segment makes up 26% of consumers
  • Consumers in the Hibernate and spend segment (11%) are mostly aged 18-44 and are most concerned about the impact of the pandemic, and are spending “more across the board.”

The next five consumer segments that will appear after the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Get to normal consumers’ (31%) spending is “largely unchanged. Daily lives were never really affected. Least concerned about the pandemic overall.”
  • Cautiously extravagant consumers are “middle to high income. Very focused on health but relatively optimistic despite a strong belief that a global recession is coming. Will spend more in areas important to them” (25%).
  • Stay frugal, 22% of consumers, are “spending slightly less, but some deep cuts. Trying to get back on their feet. Among the most pessimistic about the future.”
  • Keep cutting, 13% of consumers are “least educated. Least likely to be working. Making deep spending cuts. Changing what they buy and how. The pandemic was always a huge worry.”
  • Back with a bang consumers are “younger and in work. Spending much more in all categories. Their daily lives were most disrupted. Now they’re the most optimistic” (9%).

EY has created the Future Consumer Index to track emerging consumer behaviors so companies can be prepared to adapt to changes brought about by the pandemic. It’s an interesting and includes additional key findings from the initial research.

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