The habits of consumers have changed radically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The purchasing of preventative supplies and food have gone up, including medical masks, gloves, toilet paper have all been flying off the shelves, as people have prepared for the long stay inside.
There have been purchases made for medical supplies as well, including cold medicine, thermometers, tissues, and items for the pantry, like canned goods and bottles of water.
But people are also shelling out money right now for entertainment. Board games, movies, puzzles, and video games have become popular items right now.
According to consumer psychologist, Kit Yarrow, people are buying goods right now for three needs: to protect, to entertain and to connect.
Yarrow has explained that the hoarding of food right now makes sense, psychologically. As we grow in feeling panicked or anxious, our desire to do anything to have some kind of control of the situation increases as well.
“People are resorting to the only action they feel like they can, which is stockpiling.”
People have to care for others as well, such as children or elderly relatives. People who have to care for these people are feeling a greater sense of guilt or obligation to hoard more food.
It’s not a surprise that people have been stockpiling supplies to combat against getting the virus, as everyone is trying to feel safe and protected.
Once they have done that, they then move onto their own well-being.
One of the top sellers on Amazon recently has been board games and puzzles, things that can provide long-term entertainment for people at home. They are also turning to video games, movies, and digital entertainment as well to fill their time.
“People have to find stuff to do,” Yarrow said. “Some of it is game consoles and stuff like that, but a lot of it is people going back to home crafts. Stuff to keep themselves amused, but in a solitary way.”
Things aimed at fitness like yoga mats and resistance bands have also been on the rise since access to gyms and workout equipment is limited, if not gone.
People are also turning to ways to stay connected as well, with platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype reporting a surge in people using their platforms to stay in touch.
Shares of Zoom a have skyrocketed more than 125% since January and were up nearly 20% on Monday.
As Yarrow explains it:
“There is nothing more fundamentally important in our life than connecting with other people and here in this time when we are so anxious and need each other more than ever and we aren’t supposed to be together. It’s the human imperative. We are going to find ways to be together.”
There have been a lot of changes to our lifestyle since this pandemic started, and as we move through our apex, these could stay as they are for a time.
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