Perception is the belief which individuals use to select, categorize and analyze physical stimuli and formulate mental inferences to validate logic hidden behind different stimuli. Consumer behavior explores the idea of perceptual awareness among consumers in ways to make the marketers understand the main reasons behind the selection of specific products or brands while ignoring others.
In this moment of COVID-19, there has been a significant increase in transactions involving the purchase and sales of certain consumer-oriented products in the business markets. It's nearly half a decade of economical reformation when the Nepali marketplaces have been switching to e-commerce platforms for transacting even perishable products like fruits and vegetables. A countable number of online startups have been introduced in the marketplaces opening up employment opportunities to people helping them commercialize unexplored sectors of Nepal like agriculture. E- agribusiness especially are making linkages with the vegetable wholesalers and are storing fresh vegetables on their store's shelves. From there, they place those vegetable items on their official e-commerce sites and place price tags accordingly.
A major alteration that has been experienced is the boom of counterfeit consumer products in the Nepali marketplaces. The importers of foreign products have been affording economical ways to import forged products at low prices and passing them on through popular sales places in the name of branded products.
The counterfeit copies of sanitizers and hand washes under brand names have been introduced in the consumer markets rapidly these days.
The education sector has also been witnessing noticeable changes in terms of behavioral patterns during this pandemic. Several untrained teachers and students in government schools and institutions, overall, are found to be hesitant toward the adoption of the online medium of classes in Nepal. However, their conventional teaching methods can be shifted to electronic-based internet learning through informative and educational workshops for both teachers and students.
The increased use of digital tools in sync with technology is reducing the void between consumer experiences and work styles in Nepal. Many ride-sharing companies are inaugurating amid this crisis, where consumers can simply book a ride through their apps and get to their workplaces or homes conveniently without facing the difficulty to travel in crowded public vehicles. The public transportation sector has also been offering valuable choices like choosing between a bike or a taxi depending upon the economic status and need of consumers.
According to a blog named "Numerator", there was a fluctuation in the level of consumer consciousness after the reopening of stores and shops - be it physical or online - around the globe. The overall level of consumer influence has remained high, dropping below 80% only twice, in September and October in 2020. However, in 2021 as stated by Forbes, 74% of consumers are motivated to make purchases of products relying on the positive buying experiences of other consumers.
Nowadays, in Nepal, the prospect of consumer behavior has been improving in the areas of business markets where marketers are emphasizing developing long-term relationships with the consumers. Different kinds of online shopping centers are conducting festival offers and giveaways particularly on the occasion of Dashain, Tihar, New Year where they sponsor cash prizes or material products in the form of prizes. Some kinds of coupons are distributed to the consumers who are supposed to enter codes and then, on the day of announcement, these online centers declare winners openly.
This kind of relationship-building initiative is often opted for by online shopping businesses to boost consumer loyalty in the context of referring, reviewing, and purchasing products from such business portals.
While analyzing consumer behavior, Nepal’s government lags in implementing proper consumer-friendly laws in the field of consumer behavior. Trade associations also fail to regulate consumers with ethical standards for retaining business transactions in the wellbeing of consumers like identification of additional product features, misleading advertisements about consumption habits, and risks associated with differential consumption trends. Mostly, tax provisions on consumable products have been stressed by Nepali legal regulations. Hence, market research on this additional ethical standard is vital to guide consistent patterns of consumer spending on market offerings and important implementation of consumer-centric laws is essential.
Consumer behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic has been dominated by several factors like buying motivation, market trends, consumer living standards, lifestyles etc. Every consumer's buying and consuming patterns differ in each geographic and demographic segment of Nepal.
Consumers in predictable times prefer to hold on to their routines adamantly, resulting in very delayed (if any) adoption of advantageous technologies that necessitate behavior modification. The COVID-19 dilemma has prompted customers all over the world to adjust their habits quickly.
Consumer attitudes and behaviors are rapidly shifting. Companies must use meaningful customer databases to determine and potentially even influence those advances.