Purchase planning – an forced pandemic phenomenon or long-term trend?

Last week proved that the COVID-19 pandemic is not in reverse at all, although consumer purchasing behaviour indicates relative optimism. As the Listonic shopping application report shows, in the first half of this year, June is the first month in which the purchasing intentions of specific products or product categories (expressed by adding them to the shopping list) started to fall. This is not an indicator of the condition of the entire economic situation, but only an analysis of a certain segment of consumers, however the size of the sample (250 thousand) allows us to think of the conclusions of this study as potential insights, the truthfulness of which will prove true for the entire population.

The value of the basket at the expense of purchase frequency

On average, Listonica users added about 80% more products to their baskets than in June of last year. It is obvious that we went shopping less often and preferred to do as much as possible for one visit to the store. At the same time, due to the uncertain economic situation, we limited impulse shopping to the necessary minimum. Both of these phenomena are beginning to be in retreat. We can see it first of all in the decreasing (but still bigger than last year) baskets. On the other hand, the level of products considered to be most needed during the lockdown has fallen and stabilised – rice, groats, flour (down from 570% to 220% increase in the number of additions to the basket compared to the previous year!) and ready products. The category of frozen products, which are dominated by chips and fish, also started to fall. On the other hand, the share of indulgence type categories has increased, including impulse chocolate or alcohol products.

Fewer deviations in maintaining the household than in consumption

FMCG food products are the category where any and all changes in consumer moods are most evident. Although at the beginning of the pandemic increases in hygienic products were visible, these were short-term increases. At present we can see that cosmetics, household chemistry and medicines are very stable categories. At the same time, the results of products from this assortment in 2020 are on average 180% higher than last June.

Impulsive planning?

The above results indicate, above all, that it has slowed down the trend of planned purchases and we are returning to more impulse purchases. At the same time, when we compare it with real sales data from the market, we can conclude that these twice as high values of interest in given products do not necessarily mean twice as high sales results, but rather say that more and more consumers are more and more willing to plan their purchases in applications – and this is one of the post-pandemic changes which, as you can see, has a chance to stay with us for longer. One thing is certain – it is worth considering the development of not only e-commerce channels, but also m-commerce, as well as FMCG categories.