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Consumers are buying more products that they can use at home as they continue to work and study in the comfort of their houses.

During an e-commerce convention series organized by Lazada, Nielsen Philippines managing director Patrick Cua discussed the emerging patterns of consumer behavior in 2021. Due to the ongoing pandemic, many consumers now prefer to purchase products that they can use at home - whether working at home or being engaged in online education. This renewed interest in home-based activities is becoming known as the "homebody economy."

"We found out that more people are cooking so home cooking is more prevalent and food deliveries," said Cua. "As they spend more time at home, their sentiment also shows that they economize, they want to have family bonding, and the gatherings are more intimate now. The food servings are smaller because of mobility restrictions and it's not allowed to have big gatherings."

There is also a greater demand for gadgets and appliances to be used for home entertainment.

"So, more and more people are watching streaming, and as more people are staying at home, they will also notice more that they need a new appliance, they will need a new electric fan, they need to have a new laptop in order to be able to be connected, (and) you need to have working devices. These types of categories enjoy a good patronage from our shoppers because more people are spending or trying to look for home entertainment so these could also manifest in different ways like plants and different hobbies --cooking would be a hobby and, also pets," he added.

Ultimately, MSMEs should take note of these emerging consumer behavior patterns and then begin to cater to these needs. For businesses to make the most of the opportunities the pandemic presents, they will have to try to better understand their consumers and the new ways of living they are exploring these days.

"Because every day they wake up, that becomes their office, that becomes the area where they want to make their families happy, make their children happy, what can a parent give? Or if I am a single millennial, I'm spending here, how can I show that I'm doing okay so what products can I offer? So in order to be successful, you need to adjust and make sure you have the right product offerings that are driving the consumer behavior," said Cua.

Photo by Standsome Worklifestyle on Unsplash