For ordinary people, indoor and online activities dominated the epidemic period. Consumers are developing new lifestyles and habits, which will continue to play a role during the post-epidemic time
Every crisis brings new changes to consumption habits and new opportunities to various industries. SARS in 2003 promoted the development of the logistics industry, the financial crisis in 2008 accelerated Internet consumption and the mobile Internet, and then the “sharing economy” was put forward in 2009 and reached a peak in 2016. After that, the concept of “public sharing” became a game changer in the industry…
After the Covid-19 outbreak, online education, short videos and the demand for medical and health care experienced a boom. The formation of a range of new consumption habits will have a long-term impact on the consumption industry. After the epidemic, what new consumption behaviors will there be, and which industries will see rebound growth?
Awareness for “zero contact”
The domestic consumption recovery is faster than expected. People begin to line up at restaurants. 90% of restaurants has resumed normal business. It had been thought that “dine-in” would not be possible in a short term. However, except for the canteens at schools and government institutions who still call for flow control and keeping instance, most restaurants on the streets were back to normal operation. After all, income is the most important thing to the owners.
Online platforms have become the first choice for people who purchase daily food materials. The daily flow to APPs like HEMA, DingDong Fresh, Miss Fresh has grown significantly. The total users’ amount of such online platforms was less than 8 million before the Spring Festival, yet exceeded 10 million during the Spring Festival, and 12 million two weeks after the Festival, realizing a growth rate of 96.4%.
After the epidemic, food safety will still be the main issue. More and more people will again dine out or order takeaways. But they will prefer to choose restaurants with good sanitary conditions and be inclined to buy more semi-finished products and frozen products. Also, many people developed quite excellent cooking skills during the lockdown time. So they will also prefer to cook themselves more.
Some meal delivery platforms and catering enterprises launched “zero contact delivery” services in order to minimize the possibility of direct contact between staff and consumers in the whole process from reservation, food preparing to delivery, and thus ensure food safety. Meanwhile, Meituan and Mobility Intelligent signed a strategic cooperation agreement and jointly launched a special lab program of unmanned delivery, hoping to solve the “last mile” delivery concerns.
Medical and health care becomes daily necessity
The coronavirus outbreak has given a lesson of health education to all people. Health oriented consumption behaviors will continue even after the epidemic, and more and more people now have stronger awareness for embracing healthy lifestyles.
Products and lifestyles that help enhance immunity and health are increasingly drawing people’s attention. Health care products for daily cleaning and protection such as disinfectants, masks, and vitamins may be bought and stored regularly. So spas and beauty salons’ owners can purchase more or even manufacture these products. Customers will be willing to buy such products from spas that they trust instead of shopping malls. It’s a good way to promote sales.
According to the survey, in February, probiotic orders from consumers doubled, the orders of vitamin C grew by nearly 300%, the sales of cross-border probiotics increased by 180%, and the sales of Liby disinfection products was 3 times compared with the same period of last year, among which the sales of disinfectant solution increased by more than 400%.
At the same time, people’s awareness of keeping health and doing exercise has increased significantly. Baidu search index shows searches of “sport”-related words has been steadily increasing since late January. According to JD big data, during the Spring Festival alone, the turnover of skipping rope increased by 56% year-on-year, dumbbells by 60%, chest expanders by 109%, rowing machines by 134%, and yoga mats by 150%.
The 1990s generation is especially attracted by products that combine fitness with games. Nintendo’s ” Ring Fit Adventure ” sold for more than 1500 yuan in just three months after being launched, 900 yuan more expensive than that before the outbreak.
The epidemic also stimulates the demand for insurance products. 70% of the respondents said they would increase the purchase of insurance products such as serious illness insurance and medical insurance. Since consumers get used to the “no contact” way of insurance purchase during the epidemic, the transactions handled by internet insurance agencies has increased.
According to the report “See the trend of internet health insurance in 2020 from the coronavirus outbreak” released by shuidibao insurance and its research institute, the annual premium of new orders in February exceeded 1.2 billion yuan, showing a rapid growth. By the end of February, the number of users of shuidibao insurance had exceeded 70 million, of which the number of new users in January and February had exceeded 30 million, equivalent to that of the entire year of 2019.
In particular, provinces with more confirmed coronavirus cases see more insurance buyers. According to the report, in February, the insurance orders in provinces with more than 500 confirmed cases increased by 59% compared with January, with the highest growth rate in Hubei Province – 70% higher. Even in provinces with less than 500 confirmed cases, the number of insurance orders also increased by 45% on average compared with that in January. On March 4, Qingsongbao insurance also released its premium income. Its monthly premium reached 300 million yuan, a substantial year on year increase.
Home isolation and medical resources shortages drive the development of online medical services. According to “Consumer Survey during Covid-19 Outbreak” released by kantar, more than 80% of people have tried at least one new type of medical consultation and service, among which the most popular is online inquiry (34%). During the outbreak, about 12 internet medical platforms have launched online consultation pages, mobilizing more than 100 thousand doctors, and more than 4 million people have consulted online.
According to the data provided by Ping An Good Doctor, during the outbreak, platform visitors reached 1.11 billion, new registration increased by 10 times, and the average daily consultation from new users was 9 times as much as before. At the platform of ChunyuDoctor, 21000 doctors joined in the free service and provided consultations to nearly 1.38 million patients. On 91160 health platform, 11,700 doctors in China participated in the free service and offered nearly 1.63 million consultations. When choosing online medical platform, customers care most of the qualification of doctors and the diversity of medical departments.
The reason for the rise of internet medical services is that it can provide people with convenient, fast and accessible medical services and medical consultations during a special period. It helps avoid the aggregation of patients in hospitals, and thus reduces the risk of infection.
From offline to online and combination of the two
As the lockdown lasts, people realize that about 80% of things in their daily life can be done very well even if they just stay at home. Online working, online education and online entertainment become new trends.
The epidemic drives the boom of online working. The functions of ZOOM, Tencent Meeting, Ding Talk, and Enterprise WeChat are quite impressive. On February 3, data from Ding Talk showed that tens of millions of enterprises and nearly 200 million people worked at home, and Ding Talk APP downloads exceeded WeChat for the first time. The users of Enterprise WeChat doubled a dozen times with tens of millions of people using it every day. Millions of people worked online via Huawei’s welink every day as well.
Though the American stock market has been quite volatile recently, the share price of online working APP ZOOM has risen by 50% since the beginning of the year, and its market value once reached more than 40 billion US dollars, exceeding that of Baidu. The remote working APP not only helps the companies do effective personnel management and department coordination, but also enables the schools to give online classes.
During the epidemic, about 8% of small and medium-sized enterprises forsook their physical offices and asked staff to work at home and online. The low-cost and highly efficient “distributed office system” will be more applauded. In terms of employment, there are more part-time workers. That is to say, the epidemic makes enterprises to reexamine their labor and rental costs. The formation of online working habits during the outbreak gradually reduces the number of full-time employees and the rental area of offices.
Online education enables students to experience a new way of learning that breaks the shackles of time and space. In addition to traditional education giants such as New Oriental and TAL, Internet giants such as Tencent, Alibaba and ByteDance also rushed to the battlefield, speeding up the evolvement of the industry. The original penetration rate of online education was less than 10%. But in 2020, it may reach 30% or higher. The spa and beauty industry could also consider providing more flexible and effective online training.
Meanwhile, short video, long video, live broadcast and online consumption will all become more popular in people’s daily life. Of course, participants that fail to continually seize the interests of the consumers will be eliminated from the market with time.
Spas and beauty salons who provide online services during the epidemic are obviously less influenced. Therefore, it is important in the future to introduce more online products that can be packaged with the existing treatments.
During the outbreak, people who only did offline business before began to participate in the online sharing economy. Employees at spas and beauty salons are more willing to promote and sell products in their WeChat groups. So spas who don’t have online business are now reexamining their business structure after the epidemic.
Surely, we need to be cautious when launching online programs. We can leverage the existing professional platforms so as to reduce the initial investment and risk. With the help of professional teams, we are able to improve our online sharing ability and business operations.