The unforeseen circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a significant and rapid change in consumer behaviour and buying patterns. Consumer behaviour is defined as "the study of individuals, groups, or organisations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society" [ CITATION Noe09 \l 3081 ]. There has been an increase in consumers shopping online for goods due to lockdown laws and consumers choosing not to shop in store to avoid the virus. Cash payments decreased significantly, and less consumers are carrying cash. Additionally, consumers also displayed panicked behaviour and stockpiled goods in fear of missing out on essential items during lockdown or quarantine. In response, retailers have proactively innovated to accommodate new consumer needs. Zoom weddings, online schooling, digital job interviews - consumers have made various requisitions for companies to develop new and safer ways for consumption during the pandemic. "Online shopping is the process of buying goods and services from merchants over the internet" [ CITATION Sol21 \l 3081 ]. The immense effects of the pandemic have changed consumer behaviour, which is seen through the rising demand of ecommerce which is advantageous for both consumers and retailers. Innovative food delivery services such as UberEATS have been greatly beneficial to consumers and retailers during the pandemic as it is a convenient way for consumers to purchase food without being exposed to the virus in a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Companies benefit from this as they can mark up their menu prices and charge a service and delivery fee[ CITATION Lic20 \l 3081 ]. Guzman Y Gomez charge 20% more on UberEATS as well as a fixed delivery fee. This premium price allows for Guzman Y Gomez to pay for the commission they are required to pay UberEATS while also generating profit [ CITATION And19 \l 3081 ]. Retailers have innovated to adapt to new consumer needs by creating jobs that are contactless, for instance food delivery services and online platforms such as Zoom to adapt to remote employment and online meetings [ CITATION Hos21 \l 3081 ]. Covid has changed consumer behaviour, forcing consumers to shop safely and re-evaluate what is essential. The pandemic has pressured consumers to shop online by forcing retailers to focus on online experience, advertising, and delivery. During quarantine and lockdown periods, consumers could not go into stores to purchase goods from cosmetics to grocery items. This resulted in consumers spending upwards of $211.5 billion in the US in 2020 on e-commerce alone[CITATION JPM20 \l 3081 ]. As a final observation, retailers have responded to this major change in consumer behaviour by innovating ways to reach consumers online, seen through online delivery services such as UberEATS. McKinsey predicts that the new way consumers behave is here to stay and digital services will continue to be used by companies to ensure they are keeping up with changing consumer behaviour and needs [CITATION Bai20 \l 3081 ]. One of the most unexpected implications of the COVID pandemic was the decrease in cash transactions. Cash is notorious for being unsanitary, and Chinese banks began to disinfect cash to prevent spreading the virus [ CITATION Sti20 \l 3081 ]. Consumers are choosing to sanitise their hands before and after handling cash, or not handling cash at all, in fear of the virus transmitting from the surface of bank notes. Retailers are protecting their employees by asking consumers to pay electronically when they can, aligning with consumers behaviour of not wanting to use cash [ CITATION Man20 \l 3081 ]. Retailers banked 33.33% less cash between February and May 2020, likely because more than 1 in 5 Australian consumers hold no cash in their wallets ([ CITATION Mar21 \l 3081 ];[ CITATION Gut21 \l 3081 ]). The pandemic has created concerns that the virus can be transmitted by bank notes, which has caused consumers to turn to buy-now-pay-later forms of payment. Because lockdown and
quarantine caused an increase in online shopping, it also caused an increase in the use of Afterpay, further decreasing consumers use of cash [ CITATION Pal201 \l 3081 ]. Retailers have innovated and capitalised on this new behaviour by participating in Afterpay day, an in store and online sale that attracts a large range of customers. Overall, the use of cash has significantly declined, causing retailers to look to other forms of payment, particularly electronic forms of payment, and further innovate ways that compel consumers to make purchases both in store and online. Consumers are avoiding cash due to hygiene reasons, many businesses also discouraging cash and encouraging the use of electronic payments such as cards and buy-now-pay-later methods[ CITATION Aga20 \l 3081 ]. Furthermore, retailers have innovated in response to changing consumer needs and behaviours by introducing less traditional ways of payment to discourage the use of cash and promote safe and hygienic forms of payment. The pandemic disrupted the world and how it operates, leaving consumers feeling panicked, confused, and anxious, and ultimately changing their behaviour. "One of such behavioural changes is panic buying, which occurs when consumers buy unusually large amounts of products in anticipation of, during or after a disaster or perceived disaster, or in anticipation of a large price increase or shortage" [ CITATION Yue20 \l 3081 ]. When consumers were told that a state-wide lockdown in NSW would be occurring, consumers began to stockpile, panic buy and hoard goods in fear of them becoming less available. This caused temporary shortages of high-demand goods such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and face masks. The shortage of hygiene goods caused a price increase and created difficulty for healthcare workers to obtain personal protection equipment [ CITATION She20 \l 3081 ]. Because of consumers new behaviour, retailers were forced to adapt to prevent a shortage of goods. Woolworths created a two-pack limit of toilet paper, paper towel, hand sanitiser, rice, pasta, and other high demand goods in all Australian stores, ensuring customers have access to the products they need without disadvantaging others. Woolworths managing director Claire Peters encouraged consumers to only buy what is necessary and to think of other members of the community who may need it [ CITATION Woo20 \l 3081 ]. To conclude, consumers stockpiled goods because they were anxious about food and product scarcity, Deloitte reports that most consumers were buying more than they usually do. This is due to herd mentality, and consumers conforming to social norms. If other consumers are hoarding essentials, more consumers will follow [ CITATION Cum21 \l 3081 ]. In response to this new behaviour, retailers innovated to prevent panic buying so that all consumers could access goods during the pandemic, creating customer satisfaction and encouraging consumers to shop safely. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way consumers behave and because of this, retailers have innovated their approach to meet changing consumer needs. Because of the pandemic, consumers have changed their behaviour drastically. This is displayed in the rise of online shopping and the staggering decrease of cash payments, as well as the display of anxiety through panic buying, stock piling and hoarding. In response, retailers have driven consumers to utilise e-commerce by encouraging the use of buy-now-pay-later payments rather than cash and have also encouraged a sense of community between consumers by deterring the erratic behaviour that is panic buying, stock piling and hoarding.
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