Brands told: 'Stock up' to keep loyal customers as appetite for e-commerce grows

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 27 2020 04:17 PM

App based ride-hailing as well as app based food delivery motorbike services in Bgy. Batasan in Quezon City on July 23, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Manufacturers are urged to stock up and maintain their products' presence in stores to stay relevant and to keep "loyal" customers as the coronavirus pandemic alters consumer behaviors, Nielsen Philippines said Thursday. 

Consumers who frequent grocery stores lesser these days due to the "fear" of COVID-19 are likely to replace products with other brands if they're not available during their limited visits, Nielsen Philippines managing director Patrick Cua told ANC. 

As the pandemic pushes online shopping and continue to affect incomes, consumers are likely to become less loyal and more "experimental," Cua said. 

"Because of fear, people are taking less trips into the store and so the number one thing we tell the industry is you need to be available, you need to be in stock," Cua said.

"If you’re not in stock they’re going to switch or replace you with substitute products," he added.

Cua said that in a crisis, brands need to communicate affordability and value for money to appeal to consumers. 

Many Filipinos have started using e-commerce for the first time since the lockdown was imposed. Consumption also shifted at home, he said. 

Despite the growing appetite for online shopping, Cua believes brick and mortar stores are here to stay. The future of shopping could be an "omni-channel" environment where one compliments the other, he said. 

The Philippine government imposed a lockdown on the entire island of Luzon in March to arrest the spread of COVID-19. Metro Manila and neighboring provinces remain under general community quarantine until Aug. 31.