Consumers in Indonesia are shifting towards a more ‘health and hygiene’ focused lifestyle, according to a recent survey by SurveySensum in partnership with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), as the country continues efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19.

President Joko Widodo signed the regulations needed on 31 March for cities and provinces to enforce what the government described as “large-scale social restrictions” amid the pandemic. The country announced on Sunday there had been 181 confirmed COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the country's total to 2,273, the highest surge in a day since the first case was reported in late February.

There’s been an increase in hygiene and health-related activities by consumers surveyed, with handwashing (85%), water consumption (55%), eating fruits and vegetables (47%) and vitamin consumption (46%) topping the list.

Consumer concerns are also understandably high with more than half showing signs of worry due to COVID-19, with 33% of respondents “very worried” and 25% “somewhat worried”. As a result, consumers are concerned over the pandemic’s impact on economy, financial security and are now saving more with 45% reporting a reduction in spending as a high priority.

In tandem, there’s been a spike in consumers trying new categories, with online medical consultancy (38%), online education (34%) and work from home software (27%) ranking in the top three.

The report also found that while consumers expect the situation to normalise within two months or so, businesses are bracing for longer recovery period of around five months – with surveyed B2B respondents reporting revenues being down 57% since the start of the pandemic’s impact on the market.

Hiring (58%), BTL campaigns (55%) and research budgets (45%) have taken huge cuts at surveyed companies while there’s been a shift in focus to e-commerce selling (58%) and digital media budgets have been increased (48%).

In an online presentation of the findings, the research firm and MMA offered the following next steps for Indonesian brands:

  • Maintain brand saliency and identify high ROI channels.
  • Prioritise SKU (stock-keeping unit) optimisation for both in-store and online channels.
  • Spend smartly and prioritise, while continuously understanding the shift in consumer behaviour.
  • Build growth with online sales and optimise UI/UX of e-commerce app/website properties.
  • Activate brand purpose to support society, educate on hygiene and cleanliness.
  • Be careful not to sound opportunistic.

SurveySensum polled 500 consumers across Indonesia and surveyed 80 B2B respondents, the report included findings from various data sources and reports including from Google and GroupM.

Sourced from SurveySensum, Jakarta Globe, Channel News Asia