Shoppers walk past a Truworths shop with sale advertisements on its windows at the Sandton shopping mall in Johannesburg. File photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Shoppers walk past a Truworths shop with sale advertisements on its windows at the Sandton shopping mall in Johannesburg. File photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we’re talking a look at the results of a recent consumer spending study.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Andrew Weinberg, CEO of 2Engage, a customer engagement and incentive solutions business with a presence in eight African countries.

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2Engage recently teamed up with research firm Brandseye to produce a study detailing some of the effects of Covid-19 on consumer buying behaviour and trends.

The study suggests that consumer spending has swung from total predictability to subtle shifts in product and store selection throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and understanding the whys and wherefores behind these choices is valuable to shops, brands, and even the shoppers themselves.

Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI
Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI

Weinberg says the key findings delivered some expected results: price became increasingly important to retail consumers, but the research showed the extent that it became a deciding factor in shopping choices because of the pandemic and during the lockdown.

In response to the question, “What are the main reasons you choose to shop at this store?”, pricing was 81.5%, specials and sales — 52.2%, Covid-19 safety measures and sanitation — 39.1%, store location near home — 35.9%, safety and security in and around the store — 34.8%, friendly staff — 32.6%, and product variety — 30.4%.

Apart from price, Weinberg says safety and health concerns are also now top of mind for consumers who expect businesses to have sanitisation available on their premises. He says this expectation is likely to become a feature of how people do business as normal from now on 

Weinberg also highlights the growth of online shopping during the pandemic as a trend that will be sustained, even after lockdowns are lifted. That said, the dynamics of the SA economy mean a large number of people still rely on in-person trading done on a cash basis.

Brands and companies understanding these and other evolving trends will help to ensure that they don’t get left behind or fail, says Weinberg.

The discussion also focuses on how he study come about, some of the other key findings, the state of SA consumers, how loyalty programmes have been affected by the pandemic and how businesses can build better relationships with their customers.

For more episodes, click here.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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