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Consumer Behavior September Update — COVID-19

female grocery shopper in brown leather jacket wearing a mask reaching for an item on the shelf, holding smartphone in other hand

While a good deal of uncertainty looms around what exactly fall has in store — particularly as it relates to COVID-19 — consumers continue to reassess and modify how, when and where they shop.    

To keep a pulse on just how the pandemic has impacted consumer behavior, 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 recent weeks that 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:

COVID-19 and consumer behavior

Here are a few new numbers from our latest market research. 

  • Even as physical locations open back up, 83% of global consumers state they will continue to shop online the same amount — or even more. [source
  • Over 75% of Americans have tried either new brands, places to shop or shopping methods during the crisis, primarily driven by convenience and value. [source]
  • 73% of Americans are not engaging in “normal” out-of-home activities and most of them are waiting to see indicators beyond lifting restrictions before engaging again. [source]
  • 68% of Americans plan to wear cloth face masks, particularly in crowded public places, for the rest of the year. [source]
  • 22% of Americans will not engage in “normal” out-of-home activities until there is a vaccine or treatment. [source]
  • More than one-third of Americans have seen a decline in the income, savings, and spending in the last two weeks. [source]
  • 70% of Americans believe COVID-19’s impact on their personal routines will last more than another four months; approximately half believe it will last more than six months. [source]
  • 66% of consumers agree or significantly agree that coronavirus has strengthened the need for greater business involvement in improving social and environmental outcomes. [source]
  • 86% of consumers say they’re likely to switch from a brand due to their pandemic response (or lack thereof). [source
  • 67% of shoppers think another shutdown is extremely or somewhat likely to occur, and more than half plan to stock up for it. [source]
  • Top three priorities when deciding where to shop in-store: 1) masks and barriers, 2) cleaning and sanitization, and 3) no-contact purchasing [source]

Stay in the know

As consumer behavior continues to change amid the pandemic, so will our monthly updates. 

For more on RRD's response to COVID-19 and related resources, head here