COVID-19 Tracking Changing Consumer Behaviors and Implications for Brands

Strategy Analytics
on 25/04/2020

The global community has been stunned by the rapid evolution of COVID-19 as it has spread from east to west and grown in its impact since the start of the year. China suffered most dramatically in January and February 2020, Europe and North America continue to deal with lockdowns, unemployment and closures. As some countries and states are starting to re-open, companies are gearing up for the “new normal”. Strategy Analytics often gets asked by the business community on what the future will be like after this pandemic. This report shares findings from research we conducted in the US, UK and China in March and April.

Why was the research conducted?

Strategy Analytics has been tracking the impact of COVID-19 on consumer purchase and usage behavior for specific products and services as well as attitudes towards brands. The information has been useful to help clients understand how their business may be impacted by the pandemic and determine the appropriate strategies to address the evolving needs of their customers.

How was the research conducted?

The research was conducted via online survey among 1,200+ nationally representative sample of adults 18+ in the US, UK, and China. Two waves are included in this report (March and April) with the May wave (plus Germany) currently in reporting phase.

What are the key findings of the research?

  • There is increased optimism that pandemic will level off soon coupled with the realization that COVID-19 will change lives forever.
  • Significant usage gains since March across markets for key activities like using the internet, watching streaming video services, making video calls among others
  • 1 in 5 consumers have postponed or cancelled major purchases like buying a new computer, smartphone, a new appliance, a new car or taking a vacation
  • COVID-19 is driving purchase of some low-penetration product categories like home security system, smart vacuum cleaner, smart video device, AR/VR headsets, etc.
  • Consumers are actively managing the brands they use based on the brand's reaction to the pandemic. At least 1 in 4 have stopped or started using a brand because of how they handled the pandemic.

Full research:

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Contributor's Name: Arleen Macaraeg-Denque