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consumers unmasked


Consumers Unmasked: 
Stage 4

Addressing New Spending Habits and Behaviors in a World Disrupted by the Pandemic and Economic Changes

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Designed to help brands understand consumer attitudes and actions in the past 18 months, the final installment of EPAM Continuum’s longitudinal study details qualitative findings and reviews habits that were formed during and after the pandemic, with the onset of the war and the increase in the cost of living.

Consumers Unmasked answers these questions:

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  • What new habits were formed during the past 18 months? Which will stick or grow in prominence? Which will fade?
  • What’s influencing consumers’ shopping decisions? To what extent do ethics and sustainability affect their choices?
  • What’s influencing consumers’ loyalty?

If you are in marketing, innovation or customer experience, this study is for you. It will give you a full picture about evolving consumer needs and interests during a period of changes in the world, and actions to take to stay relevant in this rapid evolving market.



REPORT | STAGE 4 | WINTER 2023

Consumers Unmasked

These are the results of our longitudinal consumer research, conducted during the pandemic and the global economic crisis.

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Qualitative & Quantitative Surveys

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AUGUST 2021
Stage 1:
Qualitative

DECEMBER 2021
Stage 2:
Quantitative

JUNE 2022
Stage 3:
Quantitative

JANUARY 2023
Stage 4:
Qualitative

CURRENT STAGE

Consumer Council & Contributors

18 months
Following consumers across 4 surveys

 UK
 US 
 Germany

25+
Industry experts contributed to the research

6,000+
Millennials and Gen Z responded to the surveys

Consumer Council & Contributors

18 months
Following consumers across 4 surveys

UK
US
Germany 

25+
Industry experts contributed to the research

6,000+
Millennials and Gen Z responded to the surveys

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Sector Insights

 


Food

  • Consumers have enjoyed the return of food freedoms.
  • Price beats quality.
  • Doing good matters.

Fashion

  • Hybrid experiences are a conscious choice for consumers.
  • In-store experiences need to be memorable.
  • A minority are still fearful of COVID.
  • Sustainability vs affordability.

Fitness

  • Gyms have reclaimed customer preference. Social needs are driving exercise outside of the home.
  • Fitness “value” = style, quality and durability.
  • Consumers credit brands for offering pandemic support.

Travel

  • Consumers are ready and willing to travel…
  • … but local remains best for some.
  • Travelers are taking precautions…
  • …with buying habits informed by experience.

Home

  • Consumers cut back on home purchases after pandemic splurge.
  • Physical stores are important, but consumers buy online.
  • Shoppers are willing to wait.

Key Themes

1.

Value-for-money calculation increasingly based on price.

2.

Deals and discounts determine loyalty.

3.

Consumers are looking for positive associations.

4.

Consumers are aspiring to sustainability, but living with affordability.

5.

Room remains for impulse buys and passion purchases.

6.

Brands must contend with two clear camps of the post-COVID consumer.

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Takeaways

Affordability beats sustainability…
for now.

Quality experiences expected.
Local experiences appreciated.

Online is expected everywhere…
but retailers should not neglect in-store.

Shoppers will pay a premium for convenience.

Pandemic-honed reactions remain essential for the future.

Retailers should make every part of their service hybrid.

Inclusivity and transparency: authenticity still matters.

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Is your brand prepared
to meet consumer demands?

Read the full report for more in-depth insights on evolving consumer needs and recommendations on how to keep up with demands. 

Read the Report

 

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