December 4, 2021
COVID-19 is still impacting over 40 percent of respondents polled in DRC but for Gen Z, life is almost back to normal
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic across the world, the holiday season this year is likely to be very different from previous years. While the world is slowly recovering from the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 thanks to the distribution of vaccinations, it is still hard to imagine that the holiday season is going to resemble that of those prior to the pandemic. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is no exception to the pandemic. With 54,009 cases recorded from the beginning of the pandemic till now, November 2021, the country and the people have grappled with significant shifts in their lifestyles and routines.
Additionally, the economic strains of the pandemic have been particularly difficult for the DRC due to the country's already high and now increasing poverty rates. Overall, Congolese are having to make certain changes to their lifestyles for the safety of their health and others' health, but they must also allocate resources/money differently due to the effects of the pandemic.
According to Kasi Insight’s Retail in DRC - COVID-19 Impact poll, conducted amongst 1,200 respondents between April and December 2021, the most significant change in respondents' routines is the general avoidance of public and often crowded spaces. Overall 40 percent of consumers have changed their daily routines as a result of the pandemic compared to 26 percent who have not changed their daily routines. When it comes to what has changed, avoiding using public transport (e.g. bus/ commuter taxis/trains) ranks first for 26 percent, followed by avoiding going to public spaces such as restaurants, movie theatres, etc. for 20 percent of the respondents. Other public spaces or gatherings such as funerals and parties are also commonly avoided by Congolese with 17 percent of respondents suggesting this.
When it comes to the impact of COVID-19 across age groups, the poll revealed surprising insights. For most consumers, changes to daily routines are related to avoiding public or crowded places but when looking at age groups, we start to see notable differences.
For Millennials, avoiding public transport is mostly how COVID-19 has impacted daily routines while for Gen Z the majority of respondents have not changed their daily routines. In fact, avoiding public transport comes in 4th place for this age group. This finding is expected as COVID-19 health impact is less damaging for the younger population. It is widely known now that COVID-19 health effects have been severe for older people and less for younger people.
Understanding the daily lives/routines of Congolese living through the impacts of COVID-19 can tell us a lot about what consumer life in DRC will look like going forward. Congolese in general, with the exception of Gen Z, are choosing to avoid public and commonly crowded spaces almost 2 years after the start of the pandemic. Even though Gen Z seems to be less impacted, the reality is they don't have the buying power of Millennials or Gen X.
With the holiday season around the corner, activities and purchases in 2021 will be undoubtedly different. The holiday season is known to be a busy season for retailers and consumers, with everyone out on shopping sprees and looking for gifts for their loved ones.
However, after almost two years of living through a pandemic and still feeling the economic strains, there will be some adjustments necessary to make this holiday season joyful and plentiful. While this could be viewed as a significant shortfall for businesses and brands, there are still opportunities to make this holiday season a success. Activities and purchases may look different this year, however understanding where this difference is exactly, can be challenging.
Kasi Insight has found a way to answer these questions, by having tracked consumer behavior changes before and during the pandemic. Our data intelligence platform can help you understand what products are being purchased more/less and can provide insights on how and where consumers will spend this holiday season in over 12 markets.
Contact our team today to explore how our consumer intelligence can empower your decision-making process. Win with confidence with Kasi insights https://www.kasiinsight.com/
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