CV-19 Insights

Recent Study Shows Impact Of COVID-19 on Chinese Retail



In the race to overcome the Coronavirus pandemic, China has been paving the way – and standing as an example of how the next few months may play out for retail and Consumer Goods in the rest of the globe. However, there’s still an ocean of unknowns waiting to be discovered as we continue to operate in an ever-changing world.

Using China as an example of things to come, a recent study from Kantar surveyed over 1,000 consumers nationwide in early February on their current shopping habits at the time as well as how their shopping habits might look once the pandemic is over, giving us a glimpse of what we can anticipate for other countries.  

During the pandemic, the decreased areas in spending were to be expected. Areas such as out-of-home (OOH) dining and entertainment, liquor, cosmetics and apparel saw significant decreases in spending as citizens were ordered to stay home and avoid any form of social interactions. On a positive note, there was a strong likelihood for spending in these areas to rebound once the pandemic passed according to the respondents.

Also to be expected, areas such as food and beverage, household cleaning, and medical/life insurance have experienced an increase in spending as the country focuses on preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.

Looking ahead, 42% of survey respondents said they would use ecommerce more post-outbreak, but this doesn’t mean the end of brick-and-mortar. Successful enablement of omnichannel at scale will become a focus for the industry, and is something retail and CPGs alike should be preparing and strategizing for as we move toward recovery.  

RSi’s Insights

What we’re seeing in China is likely a sign of things to come elsewhere, which is why RSi is here to help you manage today and recover tomorrow. Below we’ve outlined some tips and callouts based on the feedback we’ve been hearing from our customers impacted by COVID-19:

  • To understand where your business sits today, make sure to utilize reports that focus on daily and weekly sales and inventory trends, DC and store in-stock positions, scanning velocity at stores, and sell-through rates.
  • Where possible, segment online and in-store sales to manage inventory allocation.
  • While store pickup and delivery options are providing a positive omnichannel experience for some consumers, they may stress inventory position further.
  • Rank and order top items and stores to focus on the most impactful decisions to manage out-of-stocks more effectively.
  • Look at geographically slicing inventory distribution to hone in on recovery efforts and mitigate excess inventory when appropriate.   
  • Understand that consumer behavior and buying patterns will be in a state of flux for the near-term – keep a close eye on data trends at both minute and macro levels to adjust moving forward.

Make sure to check out the Kantar report in its entirety here.

If you’d like to learn more about how RSi can help you navigate E-Commerce for consumer goods and retail, click here.

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