Consumer behaviour changes during Covid-19

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Netz, Nils
Pernald, Amanda
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought changes upon the world that some deem irreversible. What these changes are and what implications they bring for retailers is important to understand as it can help direct efforts and organise operations to meet consumers in the most effective way. This report investigates the changes in consumer behaviour induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and how consumer behaviour might continue after the pandemic. This is done by both conducting a literature study and a case study, and making a comparison of these two. The literature study investigates global changes in consumer behaviour during Covid-19, while the case study investigates IKEA’s perception of the changes in consumer behaviour by conducting interviews. The case study takes the producer perspective, and the lack of the consumer perspective is mitigated by the literature study on consumer behaviour changes during Covid-19. The analysis shows that one main change in consumer behaviour is the change in consumers’ channel interaction. Online retailing has skyrocketed, and the channels are used in new ways and combinations, which allows for higher convenience. A second main change is how the home has become more important as people spend more time there, and that it has to be both homely and functional. A third main change is how people have started to put higher value into companies taking social responsibility during the Covid-19 pandemic. The first trend of changed channel interaction will likely endure post-Covid-19 as an increased accessibility and convenience makes returning to pre-Covid-19 ways of consumption obsolete. The second trend of the home’s importance will likely be enduring, but decrease in importance to some extent. The last trend of companies working with sustainability is likely vital in the future. The report also discusses less prominent changes, such as hoarding behaviour, importance of health and safety, and a decrease and recovery of consumption.
Covid-19, consumer behaviour, IKEA, societal change, omnichannel interaction, home improvement, sustainability
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