COVID-19 update 62 – 11-26/03/2021
EU study on the behaviour of consumers in 2020
The results of a survey conducted for the European Commission at the end of 2020 illustrate the impact the COVID-19 crisis had on consumption patterns, with consumers shopping closer to home or supporting local businesses. At the same time, consumers made ‘greener’ choices, they were willing to pay more for a product that is more durable.
Some of the main findings:
- 71% of consumers shopped online in 2020.
- On average 38% of Europeans were concerned about paying their bills the following month. The difference between Member States was significant: Citizens’ financial concerns ranged from 7% to 71%. More information is available here.
- 42% of consumers considered postponing a major purchase and 80% would not make any travel plans until the situation was back to normal in their country.
- 56% of consumers said environmental concerns influenced their purchasing decisions and 67% said that they bought products that were better for the environment, even if such products were more expensive. Another 81% shopped closer to home and supported local businesses.
- Other variables were not impacted by the crisis compared to previous surveys. For example, the level of consumer trust in retailers remained high (at 80%), extensive knowledge of consumer rights remained low (at 27%) and the share of consumers confronted with a purchasing problem for which they felt they could legitimately complain remained low (at 23%).
The findings are part of a new Consumer Conditions Scoreboard and will feed into further actions by the Commission to ensure that consumers play their full part in the EU economic recovery and green and digital transitions, as set out in the New Consumer Agenda launched at the end of 2020.