2020 Trends In Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior is the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and all the activities associated with the purchase, use and disposal of goods and services. It includes consumer’s emotional, mental and behavioral responses. In short, it answers the following questions: “How do people buy? What do they buy? When do they buy? And, why do they buy?”

The COVID-19 pandemic had an abysmal effect on the world as we know it. People are altering their lifestyles, are purchasing in different ways, and are thinking outside the box. Supply chains have been tested. Some retailers were forced to close. The pandemic caused the consumers to look at products and brands through a fresh lens.

On that note, here are the observable trends in consumer behavior this year.


The pandemic tested our physical and mental strength. Many have turn to self-care for solace at home. As the Yuletide season began, we saw a rise in self-gifting. This “I deserve it” mentality came about due to months of being locked down at home. Moreover, treating oneself is a way to ease the mental worries of an individual. Thus, retailers who fall under the “self-care” category such as Bath & Body Works (fragrance), Cotton On Body (loungewear), and Sephora (beauty) can see an increase in sales this season.


Consumers moved further towards sustainability and away from mass consumerism this year. They are more mindful of what they are buying. It is likely that this trend started to emerge pre-pandemic. However, it has accelerated during pandemic. More and more people are eager to purchase sustainable options such as cloth masks and bamboo toothbrushes. They are limit food wastes and shop more consciously.


Health is wealth. Brands that focused on health have seen an ever-increasing demand this year. Consumers are eager to find ways to support their healthy lifestyles. Having a “health-focused strategy” will be a strategic differentiator for the foreseeable future.


There has been a growing love for local brands and products during the pandemic. The desire to shop local was reflected in both the way people shop (e.g. supporting community stores or online market sites) and what the people buy (e.g. locally sourced or artisanal). Many small and local businesses have effectively capitalized on tools and online platforms to sell their goods.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

People who are no longer commuting to town have began to shop locally. With consumers both willing to shop online and from independent retailers, now is the time for you to react and adapt to this ecommerce trend.

Sources: 1 & 2


Newbie’s Basic Guide To Smart Shopping


If you want to be a smart shopper, it is important to stick to what you need to buy and what your budget permits. Knowing the difference between a perceived deal and an actual deal is also a must. For instance, you find a studio that offers 80% off their Pilates classes, but you have no passion for it, then you are still wasting money if you purchase the deal.


Committing to smart shopping entails a credit card that has the best rewards. By that I mean, you must find the best card that aligns with your purchasing habits. For instance, if you intend to save more on flying then get a frequent flyer miles card. To each your own cards match.


Most of the stores especially those that are online makes you give out your email details. This can break your savvy shopping strategy. Being a newbie, you may not be able to resist the urge to shop once you learned about the deals available, so it is recommended to unsubscribe from the mailing list right away. This simple change will eventually break the bad habits.


If you cannot trust yourself with the responsibility of holding a credit card, then stick with cash and debit card. It is best to spend the money you already have rather than to swim in a pile of debt. You may allocate a portion of your budget per month to a category called “shopping money” so you will be sure that you always have money to spare.


Free shipping is usually offered in more expensive items and by comparing prices you will find out that an item at a lower price is much cheaper with shipping included!

Image Credits: Yoel Ben-Avraham via Flickr

Image Credits: Yoel Ben-Avraham via Flickr

So, when a website offers a free shipping minimum, it is smart to shop what you need and observe if your virtual shopping cart has reached the minimum. This not only gives you a chance to see the prices go up and down to fit your desired budget but it also gives you a chance to save even more money.


Online shoppers need to know this. Why pay full price for your cart when you can save even more with discount coupons? There are many aggregators out there that offer coupons and deals for online shopping. These sites help benefits customers by giving them varied discount coupons and choices in their shopping experience, by leveraging our relationship with merchants.

For example, shoppers can easily save up to 70% with a promo code for Zalora that can be found on Paylesser.com.



Be a Smart Consumer: Avoid These 4 Marketing Tricks

To be a smart consumer, you must spend within your needs and not over your means. Marketing or Sales Agents like any other businesses are using the power of persuasion to gain profit. I’m not saying it is a bad thing (personally I think it is a talent), but it may influence the consumers to buy something that is rather unnecessary.

Image Credits: Andrew Stawarz via Flickr

Image Credits: Andrew Stawarz via Flickr

On that note, here are 4 Marketing Tricks you shall learn to avoid…

1. Foot-in-the-Door

It is a technique that starts with small requests in order to gain a “YES” with bigger requests. This works because of our desire to be consistent in our commitments.

For example, Fitness Studios will make you test their services first by giving a 1-week free pass before offering you their packages. Do you really need a $1,800 worth of Gym Membership when you rarely have the time to go?

2. Door-in-the-Face

In contrast, this trick starts with a huge and unreasonable request in order for you to settle with a smaller request.

For example, your friend asks you to donate $100 to a charity institution and you declined. Your friend will then say: “can you at least donate $10”. And, you will agree and comply. The truth is, your friend only intends for you to donate $10.

3. Low-Balling

Technique to purposely offer a product at a lower price than one intends to charge. This tactic will make you buy something at an affordable price before revealing the hidden costs (i.e., insurance, the phone casing, or batteries).

Image Credits: JOHN LLOYD via Flickr

Image Credits: JOHN LLOYD via Flickr

For example, a Car Salesman offers you an initial attractive offer that you can’t resist but then later increases the price because of a “mistake in labeling”. Once again, Psychology dictates that it works because of our need to be consistent in our choices.

4. Brainwashed by Advertising

There you have it! As Warren Buffett once said: “Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1”. I hope that by knowing these, you will be able to make smarter consumer choices in the future.