Most Asia Pacific consumers prefer staying at home, businesses are responding

PETALING JAYA: About 77% of consumers in the Asia Pacific region prefer staying home in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports a social media monitoring and competitive intelligence company.

According to Digimind, top on the list were consumers from India (87.8%), followed by Hong Kong (78.2%), Indonesia (77.5%), Singapore (76.6%) Malaysia (71.3%), and the Philippines (70.3%).

Consumers in the region were fast adapting to the reality that is the “new normal” as they remain wary of the possible resurgence of Covid-19 cases, said the report titled “Finding Certainty in Asia Pacific’s ‘New Normal’ with Consumer Trends and Top Brands on Social”.

The majority of Asia Pacific consumers preferred staying home despite the lifting of lockdown measures, it added.

"Social mentions around 'staying home' were boosted by both consumers adjusting to the 'new normal', and brands capitalising on the ‘stay home’ trend.

"The majority of mentions related to 'staying home' focused on ways to maintain a certain quality of life despite being deprived of the usual routine, while also preserving mental wellbeing during this unique time.

"Firms which lagged behind in digitalisation are now finding themselves struggling to keep up with the pace, ” said Digimind’s Asia Pacific head Olivier Girard.

He said that, for example, a newfound emphasis on consumer engagement via live-streaming has emerged as a way for brands to sustain interest and drive sales in the absence of brick-and-mortar stores.

"Being extra vigilant in understanding consumer needs, capturing new concerns that have surfaced during the pandemic, and acting swiftly on them, will be key to not only surviving 2020 but thriving beyond it, ” added the report.

Digimind, an artificial intelligence-powered social media listening and competitive intelligence software, was designed for brands and agencies seeking to accelerate digital transformation through an insights-driven approach.

It analysed key trends in 653,428 mentions around the Covid-19 pandemic, and the lifting of lockdown measures, as well as additional data around post-lockdown activities, perspectives, and consumer brands.

The report found that consumers tend to find alternative solutions that allowed them to remain at home while supplementing their past routines and fixes, including shopping, socialising, and seeking entertainment.

"This trend is speculated to uphold for months to come.

"Likewise, brands have started marketing and repackaging products and experiences as something that can be replicated 'at home', in a bid to stay connected with customers," said the report.

The report said that top on Asia Pacific consumers’ concerns were safety, availability and price.

"When discussing availability (19.0%) and price (15.5%), consumers expect a standard in product or experiences that justified the amount spent, pandemic or no pandemic.

"Companies such as Flipkart, Lazada, and Shopee managed to continue connecting and engaging with their customers in the absence of large-scale, physical events," it said.

The report also said that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for brands to adopt new technologies and strategies to align themselves with evolving consumer needs.

In the light of the new normal, businesses are forced to adapt to emerging consumer and consumption trends, it added.

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