APAC consumers remain upbeat as brands adapt to pandemic

Two-thirds of consumers in Asia Pacific are concerned about the overall impact of the pandemic, mainly on their personal health (73%), job vulnerability (40%) and the economy (36%), according to new research from Adobe.

Adobe tapped Advanis to survey 4,001 consumers in selected Australia, China, India and Singapore and 1,200 marketers across China, India, Singapore and Australia on June 1–17.

Among respondents, millennials (72%) typically expressed greater concern compared to Gen Z (58%), Boomers (62%), and Traditionalists (48%).

“Brands that are nimble in pivoting to this digital ‘new norm’ will be able to create deep and enduring brand resonance while helping their customers feel truly supported,” said Simon Dale, managing director of Southeast Asia,at Adobe. “Marketers will need to pay close attention to their customers and ensure that they adapt their CX strategy to address different groups with relevant messages, more so now than ever.”

While almost all (95%) consumers surveyed are willing to wait out the continued restrictions, only 61% agree with the continued lockdown measures, signaling an eagerness to resume life per normal.

During the lockdown, 58% of consumers increased their online shopping frequency while three quarters (74%) cited an intention to change their future shopping habits – with Indian and Singaporean consumers reporting the strongest intention.

And yet, despite COVID-19, close to three quarters (70%) of consumers reported a preference for purchasing grocery items in person, while around half also opted for home delivery (47%), and 17% relied on curbside pick-up.

Also, the survey found a growing social consciousness reflected in the importance consumers placed on staff treatment (77%). Despite this, brands have some way to go, as only 54% of consumers agree that brands are doing enough to ensure staff wellbeing.

Nearly three in four (73%) consumers found it important for brands to mirror the state of the world in their marketing collaterals in response to COVID-19. China (80%) and India (83%) consumers were more likely to agree with this sentiment. 

To respond to these nuances in customer preference, majority of firms are transforming their long-term strategy in case this period lasts for more than a year (79%), and are also changing their approach to future marketing efforts (82%). Changes include shifting to different marketing channels (75%), changing prioritised audiences (58%) and reallocating resources across different regions (47%).