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CACI reveals the new reality of the UK’s safety-first consumer post-Covid-19

CACI, the consumer and location intelligence specialist, has identified ten ways in which consumer outlook and behaviour has changed as a consequence of Covid-19 and the lockdown.  According to the findings, there have been significant step changes across every aspect of the British consumer’s life with a new ‘safety-first consumer’ mindset emerging:

1.      Working circumstances have changed for 80% of consumers, with 24% having reduced disposable income

2.      ‘Feeling safe in stores’ is ranked as the number one factor in determining where consumers will shop

3.      51% of consumers plan to spend more in stores on groceries as the lockdown eases, while 20% and 30% are intending to increase their spending on entertainment and fashion respectively

4.      57% of consumers will shop more online, with 43% spending more in physical stores

5.      44% of consumers will walk more, while 6% will use their cars more regularly (greater intended car usage is particularly prevalent among 25 to 34 year olds)

6.      Conversely, public transport will suffer, with 31% using trains less frequently, 33% travelling less often on buses, and 36% conducting fewer Tube journeys

7.      Consumer behaviour differs significantly by age with regard to leisure and F&B

8.      18 to 24 year olds place visiting pubs, bars and restaurants after going to their place of work, visiting parks and using their local High Street

9.      65+, however, while still planning to visit parks, High Streets and places of work, prioritise museums, galleries and golf courses above all other leisure activities

10.  57% of consumers will choose a brand if it treats its employees well, while 42% of consumers will choose to shop a brand it treats its suppliers positively

Commenting on the research, Alex McCulloch, Director of CACI, said: “Pre-Covid-19, consumers were starting to make more considered choices about how they lived their lives, but the lockdown has accelerated the shifts exponentially.  Covid-19 has created the safety-first consumer, and it is a trend that applies to all demographics.

“Regardless of age, georgraphy or financial position, consumers will be making more informed choices about how they work, live and spend, with safety, localism and personal need being the key drivers of decisions.  All the indications are these are long-term shifts in the national psyche, with the findings giving us a very clear idea of what the new reality will look like.”

CACI undertook a UK representative survey of 1,000 adults on April 30 and May 1 using their research partner ResearchBods.  The data was analysed using CACI datasets such as Acorn.  The post-lockdown survey research is the latest in a series of industry insights published by CACI, as it works with landlords, retailers and leisure operators to help them better understand changing consumer behaviour.

CACI Staff Portraits
Alex McCulloch, Director of CACI.

The full report is available at CACI report download.