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Consumer Behavior Bi-Weekly Update — COVID-19

As talks around recovery and reopening slowly spread, it has us wondering how a “new normal” will affect consumer behavior.  

To keep a pulse on it, our Market Intelligence team pulled together the most credible research available on COVID-19 and its effect on the marketplace. Here’s a snapshot of stats — from mid-April (2020) — we found to be some of the most compelling. 

For a deeper, more industry-specific dive on COVID's impact on consumer behavior, see below:

A few numbers around COVID-19 and consumer behavior

Spend trends

As of April 15, 43% of Americans stated that they spend more than usual on health and hygiene due to the pandemic. And 39% are spending more on household cleaning products. [source]

Since the beginning of March (2020), 46% of shoppers say “order online and deliver to home” is a normal part of their routine. [source]

According to EY’s Future Consumer Index, four consumer segments have emerged during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Save and stockpile (35%) – Pessimistic about long-term effect and spending more on groceries and less on clothing and leisure
  • Cut deep (27%) – Most pessimistic about the future and spending less across all categories
  • Stay calm, carry on (26%) – Not directly impacted by the pandemic and continuing to spend as normal
  • Hibernate and spend (11%) – Optimistic about the future and spending more across the board [source]

A growing number of people have said they’re shopping at stores that are new to them. On April 13 (2020), 36% of consumers said they were doing at least some shopping at new places. As of April 24, that number has grown to 62%, with product availability a key factor in this jump. [source

A lifestyle change

Only 2% of Americans say they have not made any changes to their lifestyle. [source]

Only 15% of American adults feel comfortable going to the movies or a concert in the next six months (as of March 2020). [source]

42% of respondents believe that the way they shop will fundamentally change as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. [source]

Marketing matters

Consumers’ daily routines have changed and so has their interest in what their advertising expectations looks like:

  • 22% of consumers said they want brands to share information on how they are supporting their staff and customers during this time
  • 21% want brand advertisements to include information about COVID-19
  • 17% of consumers want ads to provide a sense of continuity and normalcy
  • 17% want ads to be funny/positive in an effort to distract from what’s going on [source]

On average, 65% of consumers indicate that a brand's behavior during the outbreak would have a huge impact on their likelihood to buy their products in the future. [source]

In the U.S., 37% of consumers say TV advertising and email are their most preferred channels to hear from brands during these times. [source]

Stay in the know

As consumer behavior continues to change amid the pandemic, so will our bi-weekly updates. 


For more COVID-19 resources from RRD, head here