Mindshare tracker reveals 'new normal' consumer behavior post Covid-19
30-04-2020 12:45:00 | Editor: Bob Koigi | hits: 4109 | Tags:

WPP agency Mindshare has released a new COVID-19 tracker, the second of such trackers, that has been surveying 1,000 people across 10 global markets on their consumer behaviours as it seeks to understand new behaviours that may become the ‘new normal’ post COVID-19.

Tracking the impact of countries as they move from lockdown, release, reassess and new normal, the tracker dubbed New Normal covered among other countries France, Italy, Germany, US, China, India, Spain, Mexico and India.

Notable insights from the survey include:

Cultural differences matter in the lockdown context

In a locked down US ‘frustration’ is at its highest anywhere in the world, with 40 per cent of respondents indicating it is how they feel about their situation. Germany (16 per cent), Spain (30 per cent) and Italy’s (34 per cent) steps towards easing restrictions is reflected in the fact that ‘hope’ as a sentiment is rising in those markets. In contrast, China, the first market  to move towards the ‘New Normal’, still sees ‘worry’ (51 per cent) and ‘stress’ (42 per cent) rising, suggesting it will take longer to improve.

However, even though ‘worry’ continues to be the dominant mindset, it falling overall with a much larger decrease in those who say they feel scared (-8 per cent globally).

There is also a big variance in how the lockdown is being perceived by demographic. In US for example we can see that Generation Z is the most ‘overwhelmed’ (32 per cent) and ‘lonely’ (25 per cent) and women are over indexing for the most negative emotions across all demographics.

Transition out of lockdown will vary due to culture and infrastructure differences

Different markets will come out of lockdown at different times, in different ways and with different measures in place - and this will play a part in how they recover. However, whilst markets are in lockdown, they can still be confident. Germany for example scores the highest for people who feel ‘confident’ at 26 per cent even though at the time of the latest data collection the country was still in full lockdown versus Singapore at 5 per cent and even China at 19 per cent both with less restrictions.

People are concerned about their finances but are spending more on certain items

There is no doubt that the global economic impact of COVID-19 and the governmental lockdowns to contain the disease have had an impact on how people view their finances and what they spend their money on.

Despite 55 per cent of people saying they are ‘worryig a lot about my finances at the moment’, 33 per cent said they are spending more on groceries than before, rising to 60 per cent in India and China.

While the segments that most respondents said they were spending more on than previously would seem obvious, such as hand sanitzer / soap (49 per cent) and cleaning supplies (44 per cent), there are also rises in fresh food (37 per cent), snacks / guilty pleasures (29 per cent) and skin care and beauty products (11 per cent), with even apparel (7 per cent) seeing a rise.

Online shopping is important but people still crave for physical commerce

Shopping online is still higher amongst the younger age groups with only 24 per cent of over 55s saying they are shopping more online compared to 45 per cent amongst 25-34 (millennials roughly). While shopping online is now a normal behaviour for most people, physical shopping is still an activity that is missed, with 32 per cent of people saying they most missed going to stores - that was more than missed ‘physical contact’ (24 per cent), ‘attending live events’ (12 per cent) or ‘going on dates’ (10 per cent) when asked what they most missed since the coronavirus outbreak.

Media usage changes are as expected but may change after lockdown

More people are spending more time on TV (52 per cent), Streaming (59 per cent) and online (68 per cent) as you might expect but these all require the extra time that we now have.

Whether this behaviour will continue will be reflected in how each country comes out of lockdown. Interestingly, 32 per cent of people are saying they are listening to less podcasts, whilst at the same time 30% of people say they are listening to more radio.

This suggests that whilst people have more time, it isn’t always solo time and podcasts are generally individual media, whilst radio is the king of background and therefore we are seeing more people do that. When commuting returns though will podcast return?