September 5, 2023
"To get vaccinated or not, this is a question." I believe this is a question that all Taiwanese people have been thinking about since May. The current vaccine crisis seems to have been relieved to a certain level. However, the unpredictable variant virus is coming fiercely. This ultra-long marathon between humans, Taiwanese society and the COVID-19 virus seems endless at the moment. How do people in Taiwan view this situation? How will it affect people's decisions on consumer behavior?
Generally speaking, compared with the severe epidemic in May, on the one hand, because the epidemic is under control, the vaccination rate that is regarded as a reliable solution has risen sharply, and because of the previous accumulated experience, there is more leeway to face the epidemic instead of panicking. Therefore, although variant viruses such as Delta are attacking, and there are precedents in other countries where the infection rate has not fallen but increased after the popularization of vaccines, European countries that have changed the "clearing" policy have shifted their focus to reducing the rate of severe illness and increasing the rate of comprehensive multi-dose vaccination. These countries not only lift the ban but people seem to be more calm about the epidemic.
These experiences abroad deserve continuous observation. But in general, Taiwanese people have a polarizing trend towards the future development of the epidemic, which shows that some people are optimistic about the future development, but there are still a large number of consumers who still have reservations about whether the epidemic can slow down. Perhaps it's because everyone has different ways of constructing risk concepts. In addition, people's attitudes toward the epidemic are still fully affected by short-term, volatile news events. How to co-exist with the virus in daily life and build resilience and timely replenishment like running a marathon? In addition to being a metaphor, a "marathon" is also a key to important thoughts about how to make people build up consumption habits in the future.
Although the government has continuously released news about the issuance of Quintuple Stimulus Vouchers, in the survey of budget changes for consumer products in the next month, on average, there is still a trend of reduction, which is about 40% less than the budget; but the group that increases budget is mainly people between the ages of sixteen and twenty-nine. Excluding the lack of government advertisement and looking at the items with the largest increase in consumption in August, we still have three important categories: medical and health care products, household foods, and packaged foods.
Therefore, from the Quintuple Stimulus Vouchers that were launched during the National Day holiday in October and other related policies that target specific industries or groups, there are two key points to observe:
In addition, it is worth noting that this time whether the digital binding can shake the hegemony of "paper vouchers" from last time and then promote the habit of digital consumption, which is another important point to observe. Although the epidemic has made online consumption, delivery and non-contact payment, etc., the new norm, and even in order to register for vaccines, and to keep track of footprints, "scan QR CODE" has become a new movement in every store, etc., people frequently expand other functions that rely on mobile phones in their daily lives. Whether it can become an important historical opportunity to further promote digital finance, perhaps it can also reveal clues from the use of Quintuple Stimulus Vouchers this time.
In addition to daily consumption, another important business behavior of people is investment. Through the tracking of investment targets every three month, we found that in June, when the epidemic was the most severe and chaotic, people in Taiwan were more inclined to keep cash on them. However, the latest survey showed that there is a downward trend in the non-investment ratio and keeping cash, especially the increase in the number of people willing to invest in stocks. In addition, perhaps because of the fact that the Taiwan stock market has fluctuated recently, the range of losses acceptable to the public is between 20 and 30%, which can be said that there is a certain allowable range. This may reveal that Taiwanese people are extremely sensitive to changes in the epidemic, and they often respond promptly; and once the epidemic slows down, stock investment is an important financial management tool with which people have been using and expecting high-risk rewards.
In any case, this epidemic marathon will continue to roll. Taking into account the conditions around the world, it is worthy of reference: the implementation of vaccine passports, the progress of the epidemic in neighboring areas such as Japan, South Korea and Australia. These all affect Taiwan's consideration of the epidemic and the promotion of economic consumption. It may be the harsh tining and end of industries such as the catering industry, domestic tourism, physical activities or sales halls. How should we go through this long and hard, and seemingly remote marathon, although it sounds old-fashioned? However, this absolutely requires innovation, perseverance and a lot of good luck. Go for it and good luck!