Consumers are collectively living through an anxious time. Caught in a two-front crisis encompassing personal health and safety, as well as financial wellbeing this is something we have not seen since the 1918 flu epidemic. As economies reopen, the Deloitte Consumer Industry Center is conducting an ongoing monthly survey that seeks to better understand the interplay between personal safety and economic vulnerability as a driver of consumer behaviour and purchase decisions.
Deloitte is fielding these monthly pulse surveys around the globe. The objective of these surveys is to drive long-term, global conversations around the powerful forces shaping consumer behaviour by exploring trends over time, thereby helping our clients make strategic decisions in order to recover and thrive in this dynamic market environment.
To unpack the South African consumer sentiment, the Deloitte State of the Consumer Tracker virtual webinar facilitated by Rodger George, Africa Consumer Consulting Leader, and a discussion with CEO of Massmart Holdings Limited, Mitch Slape moderated by Mike Vincent, Strategy Director and Consumer Products sector leader was held on Wednesday, 14 April 2021.
Deloitte’s latest State of the Consumer tracker, showed that South Africans are currently most concerned about finances – even ahead of the health impact of Covid-19. Covid-19 began as a health pandemic and has now transformed into a full-blown financial crisis around the world.
While anxiety levels are declining in most regions, India, Chile, South Africa, Italy and Ireland all reported rising anxiety levels, with consumers in these countries reporting that their anxiety had increased in the last week. Indian consumers were 27% more anxious, followed by South Africa at 12%.
By contrast, anxiety levels declined by at least 10% in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan. Covid-19 remains the primary anxiety driver in the markets surveyed, except in South Africa where financial concerns took precedence. Three-quarters of South African respondents said financial stress was the main driver causing anxiety, while 58% also listed Covid-19 as a concern.
In South Africa, 65% of consumers reported feeling anxious about personal wellbeing, while 79% said they were anxious about their family’s health. More than half of consumers – 55% - were delaying making large purchases while 45% are worried about upcoming payments. At the same time, 56% of consumers are worried about losing their jobs, and a third are worried about returning to work.
To explore our interactive dashboard for more insights please click link below: Global State of the Consumer Tracker Dashboard