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This article has been translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.
In response to the crisis and surge in infections in Mexico and the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EY, a professional accounting, tax, advisory, strategy and transaction services company, released a study entitled "What to Expect?" Consumers for 2021?. In doing so, he tries to identify the expectations and feelings of Mexican consumers in view of the economic and health crisis. In addition to understanding consumer preferences and habits for early 2021.
The survey, conducted over digital media in the first few weeks of January this year, shows that respondents' sentiment towards COVID-19 is cause for concern in the coming months, as 40% believe infections will continue to increase and 25% do not believe that the situation will improve in the coming months. However, 26% will still come out the same way but with the appropriate safeguards.
It should be noted that due to the development of the vaccine, only 7% of Mexican consumers plan to return to the pre-COVID lifestyle soon, although 70% have planned to vaccinate, 19% are considering it and only 11% will not.
Slightly optimistic scenario
The economic crisis marked the history of 2020, so 42% of those surveyed expect this situation to get worse in 2021, 29% expect it to improve and the other 29% expect it to be the same will stay. However, consumer perceptions of their financial situation suggests a slightly more optimistic scenario in which the most frequently chosen segments are: spend wisely (38%) and stay calm and carry on (31%). Least popular are: save and save (16%), further cost reductions (10%) and return to normal (5%).
“Consumer habits have changed in parallel with the crisis and will continue to change. Because of this, companies need to be agile to recognize changes in consumer demand and adjust the value proposition. They also need to adapt resilient and flexible business and operating models to the constant volatility and uncertainty in the local and international business and legal environment. “Explains Gilberto Lozano, main partner of Business Transformation, EY Latin America North.
Based on the responses received, the study shows that 35% of respondents believe that their consumption in the coming months will be affected by the economic uncertainty caused by the outbreak. However, 30% of Mexicans surveyed believe they will consume in the same way, while 18% said they will be affected by the January increase.
Consumption preferences and habits
On the flip side are the three categories that are looking to consume more in the coming months: food, beauty / personal care, and fashion. In terms of food consumption preference, the most popular categories are: healthy, natural, and local. In addition, 77% believe that the most important characteristic when buying a product is quality, 57% accessibility, 47% availability of promotions and discounts, and 37% the environmental impact of products.
Likewise, social distancing has inevitably changed the way we work and shop, and has made digital media very important every day. The home office has become the new normal; 40% of those surveyed do not yet have a set date to return to work in person, while 30% already do. In addition, e-commerce will continue to be indispensable for consumers, with 50% making most of their purchases in hybrid fashion, 30% digitally and only 20% physical.
In this context, companies will not only want to meet the digital expectations of consumers and employees, but will also face the challenge of complying with the new initiatives for outsourcing and teleworking reforms that require them to transform into digital organizations.
The distance is retained
Although the year started with new destinations, more than 70% of consumers surveyed seem unwilling to return to activities such as traveling, going to the cinema or going to the theater or taking a plane. Most do not plan to return to the gym (88%) or attend major events (97%) and prefer to stay home (85%) and resume activities that they can do without putting themselves at risk, such as walking. B. exercising at home (92%)). On the other hand, 47% of respondents plan to visit friends and family, 40% go to shopping malls and 37% to restaurants.
"The behavior of infections, the development of the virus and its new strains, as well as the use of the vaccine in the coming months will significantly affect the perception of the economic and health crisis and thus the decisions and preferences of consumers for the remainder of 2021", concludes Lozano.