The Impact of Working From Home on Consumer Habits

As more and more of the global population is on lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, those employees that are lucky enough to work remotely have adjusted to working from home. It is no surprise that there has been a dramatic increase in sales of work from home necessities. As people spend all their time at home, they want to make sure that they have the right chair, a headset, a keyboard and a space in their homes to carry out their work. Similarly, due to the sheer amount of time being spent in the home, and also due to any extra activities cancelled, leaving weekends completely free we are seeing increases in consumer behaviour in the DIY sector. People look to use their time effectively by making improvements in the home. In this blog, we bring you a snapshot into the data we are seeing at ChannelSight as consumer behaviour changes. 

Key Category Insights from ChannelSight Data

It has been well documented during the Covid-19 pandemic that grocery sales are increasing exponentially. Consumers continually shifting to purchasing groceries online rather than in physical stores. In addition, we are also seeing a huge surge in the level of groceries being purchased. Some of this can be accounted for due to panic buying and consumers stockpiling on goods, but it can also be attributed to the closure of restaurants. In many countries, restaurants are mandated to offer delivery-only services. This leads to consumers simply needing more groceries at home as they are eating out a lot less, if at all. 

Within the grocery category, we are seeing a sharp increase in the purchase of certain categories. Coffee in particular as consumers can’t get out to their favourite coffee shops for their daily caffeine. Hence, they are making it at home themselves. We are seeing a rise of 1471% in coffee purchases in our data – check out the chart below. 

Consumer Behaviour

As the month of march progressed, more and more companies mandated their workers to work at home. Even before many official lockdowns were put in place we could see the gradual rise of office peripherals throughout March. By week 3 in March we were seeing a 3571% increase in the office peripherals category and shifts in consumer behaviour.

Data compiled by our brand performance team at ChannelSight showed that as Covid-19 continued to impact daily life, there was an 857% increase in Home Cooking Appliances and a smaller but not insignificant 143% increase in Consumer Electronics. 

Taking a deeper look at consumer electronics vertical further, the overall month on month growth from February to March includes many items that could also be attributed to the seismic shift to work from home:

  • Mice and Keyboards +8.1% 
  • Video Conferencing tools +6.7%
  • Mobile devices +9.9%
  • Smart home +9%

Keeping Up With The Demand

Due to lockdowns in many countries globally consumers are increasingly relying on online retailers and online DTC stores to meet their needs. The level of eCommerce maturity of online retailers and individual DTC stores has come under close scrutiny. Virtual queues have become normal in the UK as we wrote about previously in the Ocado example in the UK. On the other hand, the US is beginning to see increased pressure on its technical infrastructure when it comes to eCommerce. At ChannelSight we recently launched our eCommerce Maturity Assessment. This assessment helps brands to assess where they sit on the eCommerce Maturity Curve. Now, without even taking our assessment, we can see that a true test of eCommerce Maturity is the ability for brands to withstand the surge in demand or their products during this seismic shift to online sales. 

To keep on top of the trends we have put in place a Market-tracker. It has some interesting observations from our click-data and it shows the correlation of e-commerce maturity by market and the impact that the lockdown situation is having on e-commerce growth. Please feel free to check out your own market and any markets that you have a particular interest in.