Consumer behavior after easing measures

DIY superstores, garden centers and shops with a sales area of up to 400m² were allowed to open again on April 11th, 2020, subject to compliance with certain measures. The rush was great and the number of visitors is still very high, especially at DIY megastores with garden centers. As of the beginning of May, the entire retail sector was allowed to open up and the economy is experiencing an upswing.

How is consumer behavior developing?

According to a recent Gallup study, Austrians want holidays and restaurant visits the most, two categories where they still must be patient. However, it can be assumed that as soon as the opportunities are there, as was previously the case with DIY stores, a rush to restaurants and pubs can be expected.
The time of panic shopping, or even hoarding, is now over. Basically, consumer behavior is still characterized by a lower frequency of purchases, while on-line shopping is booming.

The results of another recent study, conducted by IP Austria, show that almost 30% of all respondents go shopping and are looking forward to the shopping experience. After the re-opening of retail shops, almost one in two people plan to make initial purchases of more than 500 Euros. Most of this buying is planned for the near future, i.e., in the months of May and June. In addition to the purchase of small electrical appliances, sports and leisure articles, big-ticket vehicle purchases are also planned.

In which product groups will purchases be?

As can be seen in the chart below, demand will be particularly strong in the fashion and food retail sectors. Furthermore, it can be seen that, after the opening of shops in the garden center and DIY market categories, more purchases will be made.
Quelle: Gallup Institut - Einkaufen in der Krise (April 2020)

What changes are observable in purchasing behavior?

Some changes in purchasing behavior are already becoming apparent. A first interesting trend is that the good old shopping list is experiencing an upswing. People spend less time in the store, because they make lists and plan their purchases in advance. This reduces the frequency of shopping trips and impulse purchases are also less frequent. Another change in shopping behavior concerns payment. Cashless payment options are gaining ground. A total of 41% of Austrians see a risk of infection in the handling of cash. The importance of regional products and domestic companies has also increased for many consumers. More than 2/3 of all persons would like to continue buying more regional products and 63% would like to buy from domestic companies. Austrians also consider the shopping experience in shopping streets and shopping centers to be appealing. In the future, this shopping experience is expected to be appreciated and enjoyed even more.

Shopping in the crisis - Gallup Institute, April 2020
After the Corona Crisis - IP Austria, April 2020
Consumer behaviour - Mediaplus Corona Hub, April 2020
The impact of Covid-19 on Austrian trade - Nielsen, March 2020

Further interesting links and studies

Current figures & data on mobility in Austria can be found on the following links: 
Google Mobility Report 

Mobility Trends in Austria - Gewista, April 2020
In this document you will find an overview of current facts and figures on the development of mobility in Austria in recent weeks.
"Beyond Survival Tactics" - Kantar, March, 2020
The conclusion of this study is that strong brands survive crises more easily than weak ones. Furthermore, during a crisis, people mostly trust brands that are known and familiar to them. Out of Home is ideally suited to this situation, as it is a brand building medium.
Click here for the study: Beyond Survival Tactics