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COVID-19 has amplified the need for easy access to products and services and relevant information. The majority of customers are now comfortable using online channels, reducing physical purchase occasions and are gravitating towards touchless shopping and contactless payments.

Ease, therefore, is at the heart of a digital shift, which touches all parts of society irrespective of age. While the overall trends are as we would expect, there are some interesting nuances we see emerging. For example, younger consumers below the age of 45 are more likely to turn towards those channels they use most to communicate with their friend and families, such as messenger apps (+9 percent for 18-44 year olds vs. +3 percent for 45+ year olds) or social media (+4 percent for 18-44 year olds vs. +1 percent for 45+ years old). Overall, we see a threefold increase of consumers claiming they will use social channels as their main means of communicating with organizations in the new reality post COVID-19.

Main channel of communication will be digital in the future, graph

This shift to digital interactions is also prevalent in how consumers wish to pay, where digital payment types are on the rise. Online purchasing and contactless payment options have become the norm for most consumers, with the desire for safe contact-free purchase options reinforcing this trend. In mainland China, consumers intend to make much greater use of digital wallets. This trend is also more prevalent in Hong Kong (SAR), China and Brazil.
 

What does this mean in the new reality?

Organizations will need to invest in new digital methods of communication and payments. Organizations will have to consider releasing cash from existing channels and shifting into digital. Prioritizing digital security will be key.

  

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Gary Reader

Global Head of Clients & Markets
KPMG International

René Vader

Global Sector Head, Consumer & Retail, KPMG International; Partner, Advisory Leadership
KPMG in France

Judd Caplain

Head of Global Banking & Capital Markets, KPMG International
KPMG in the U.S.

Laura J Hay

Global Head of Insurance
KPMG International