Consumers around the world are facing unprecedented challenges as the COVID-19 crisis continues to disrupt their employment, travel and lifestyles. In Egypt, the COVID-19 crisis started mid-February in Egypt, escalated in March, leading to suspension of prayers at mosques on March 21, and then to a curfew in April, eased for Ramadan.
GfK conducted the Consumer Pulse study for a deeper understanding of current and future consumer behaviours, lifestyles, and moods across 30 markets globally, including Egypt. Polling between 500 to 1000 consumers from each market, bi-weekly, the findings of the GfK study cover areas such as spending habits, media and product consumption and travel and mobility trends.
“The anxiety and uncertainty resulting from the pandemic have brought about significant adjustment to consumers’ habits and future plans,” said Rahul Dixit, Head of Digital Research, Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP), GfK. “Insights from GfK’s study helps identify signs of disruption for brands and businesses so that opportunities and risks are seen early and managed effectively.”
Change in outlook and spending habits are highlighted in GfK’s initial reports
Consumers in Egypt are concerned about COVID-19 (89%), the economy (83%) and employment (81%) but are optimistic. The survey data collected during week of April 20 and May 4, indicates that 37 percent of polled households anticipate an improvement in the country’s economy and 50 percent in their own finances over the next 12 months. Polls signify confidence in the National Health authorities as well as WHO.
Data highlights opportunities and threats to brands in the current situation as 23 percent of consumers encountered out-of-stock products and 26 percent confirmed trial of new brands.
Consumer spend in Technical Consumer Goods reported growth
New practices such as home schooling and working from home helped cushion the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the IT sector. According to GfK Point of Sales tracking, a marginal one percent growth in sales value of Egypt’s IT sector was recorded in March 2020, as compared to March 2019.
More time spent at home led to an impressive nine percent volume growth in the Consumer Electronics sector in March, driven largely by PTV. Another growth sector during the same period was smartphone, which generated seven percent more sales.
GfK’s research indicates an optimistic albeit changed outlook for Travel & Tourism
Forced confinement has whetted the appetite for travel. Over six in 10 (63%) of all respondents are already thinking of splurging on their next holiday. However, there is a measure of caution in choosing destinations due to the turn of events. Two thirds of those polled prefer to stay within the country or travel to nearby destinations. Social distancing norms seem to have an impact on choice of transportation mode: private cars are the preferred mode of transport followed by trains and domestic flights, while cruise are the least preferred options.
Rise in consumption of media and advertising
More time at home has also resulted in an increase in media consumption and subsequently higher exposure to advertising. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the respondents feel that they are watching more ads now than before, and 47 percent said they are enjoying watching them. Screen time has gone up on digital platforms and TV. Current affairs and news bulletins compete with entertainment from drama and series. Video games, reading and music now occupy more of consumers’ time.
The new reality has set in swiftly and changes are occurring constantly. GfK continues to monitor the various segments of the economy on a bi-weekly basis to capture the mood of the consumer and how it translates into parameters that affect business decisions.
“In a constantly evolving scenario, government measures to improve economic conditions, oil prices and politics among other factors add to the complexities for consideration. Decision makers in business who have access to research will benefit from statistically sound data and will be able to move faster, more surely,” Rahul concluded.
About the GfK Consumer Pulse study
The GfK Consumer Pulse study is conducted bi-weekly across 30 markets worldwide to track consumer perceptions, mood and behaviors in various industries. This will help brands and businesses to #MasterTheCrisis by understanding consumer attitudes, behavior, purchase intent, media consumption, and more – both now and in the future. The study reveals changes in demand for goods and services, so that companies can respond with confidence and come out of the crisis stronger, better positioned, and closer to consumers than before.
About GfK Point of Sales tracking
With five decades experience of tracking tech and durables sales at retailer and reseller level, GfK’s POS Tracking is recognized in 75+ countries as the market currency solution. We track products in the technical consumer goods sector and deliver insights based on actual sales data from both retailer and reseller. The POS tracking insights keep our subscribers fully updated on which retail and technical consumer goods products are selling, where, when and at what price; to help them maximize sales impact by making the optimum tactical and strategic decisions.
GfK – extracting the signals from the noise
In a world of data overflow, disruption and misuse, picking up the right “signal from noise” is key to win. GfK are the trusted partner with more than 85 years of experience in combining data and science to help you make the right business decisions. For more information, please visit www.gfk.com or follow GfK on Twitter www.twitter.com/GfK.
- The GfK Consumer Pulse study data is based on average of responses form survey conducted during week of 20th April and week of 4th May
- The Technical Consumer Goods market’s growth performance is based on GfK’s Point of Sales tracking in Egypt for the period of Mar ’20, compared to Mar ‘19