As a result of the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, Hungarian society made progress in the field of digitization in a quarter of a year – progress that otherwise would have taken a year and a half, according to Deloitte Digital’s 1,000-person representative customer survey.
Changes in the utilities sector have also significantly transformed consumer behavior. Customers have become much more open to online administration and are willing to handle even more complex matters (e.g. the transfer of the consumption meter to another person’s name) through some digital channel, primarily the service providers ’websites.
How did the income conditions and shopping preferences of the Hungarian population change and how did the habits of what channels they use the as a result of the coronavirus crisis? Deloitte Digital’s 1,000-person representative customer survey conducted in May 2020 sought an answer to these questions.
“30% of the population has reduced income and 11% of those surveyed have lost their jobs. The financial situation if almost half of those surveyed deteriorated due to the crisis. As a result, one in three respondents reduced their spending. At the same time, it is interesting that the same number of people were forced to increase their expenses due to the epidemic,” Csaba Mező, a partner of Deloitte Digital Hungary, summed up one of the most important findings of the study.
There are marked differences between different parts of the country in terms of both working conditions and income. In the capital, many worked from home at the time of the restrictions, while in the countryside, reduced working hours were more common. Those who lose their jobs in the capital expect that everything will soon go back to normal, while those living in the countryside fear longer-term unemployment. The economic downturn also had a greater impact in rural areas, with the crisis mainly affecting Eastern Hungary. On the expenditure side, middle-income earners are the ones with the most restraint.
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