Covid Consumer Reactions
Updated January 19, 2020 (Wave 14)
When the pandemic began in mid-March 2020, consumers were relatively hopeful. As the pairs of emotion words and other data below illustrate, stress and concerns grew as the year unfolded. In January 2021, although overall concern is still evident, negative emotions and pandemic-related stress pulled back from their peak just two months earlier, and over half of Americans expect the situation to improve in 2021.
Data from Wave 13
Holiday gift spending may be down somewhat in 2020. A full one-third of consumers report their plans are to spend less than usual this holiday season. In mid-November (W13), 4 in 10 had not yet begun shopping with roughly as many having started—some of whom were already finished.
Recent Stress Changes
Data from Waves 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Since steadying in August and September (W10 & W11), pandemic-related stress has surged in October (W12) and November (W13).In August and September, nearly two-thirds said their stress level was “about the same” as it had been during the previous 30 days. In October, however, the number who said they were under “more stress than a month ago” [related to the COVID-19 pandemic] expanded back to roughly 3 in 10 consumers. In November that number jumped to its highest level since we began measuring stress changes in July 2020.
Concerns over COVID-19 are, once again, rising.
When we first asked consumers in mid-March, 6 in 10 American adults were extremely or very concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic as it began to have an impact in the United States. Those in their 30s and 40s were initially far more concerned than were younger and older adults. Perhaps this is because the group juggles many responsibilities, such as work demands, young kids, and aging parents.
Concerns leveled out, on balance, between May and September, though fears among older Americans (aged 60+) have steadily risen after bottoming out in June (Wave 8). Since September (W11), concerns have once again been rising, especially among 30- to 49-year-olds and those aged 60+.
Since mid-March, consumer emotions have been somewhat mixed, fluctuating with the spread of the virus and with the news cycles. Overall, feelings are still more negative than they were when the pandemic began. Though the differences are not dramatic from wave to wave, all emotions trended more positively through October since reaching their lowest points during the summer months. In November, however, a slight downturn was noted in several of these key emotions.
The Decision Analyst Covid-19 Consumer Reaction Survey was conducted online among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. The sample was balanced by men versus women and controlled by age groups. Data collection dates and sample size for each wave were Wave 1: Mar. 17-18; n=506. Wave 2: Mar. 24-25; n=504. Wave 3: Mar. 31-Apr. 1; n=499. Wave 4: Apr. 7-8; n=503. Wave 5: Apr. 14-15; n=502. Wave 6: Apr. 28-30; n=503. Wave 7: May 19-20; n=501. Wave 8: Jun. 16-17; Wave 9: Jul. 28-29; n=505. Wave 10: Aug. 25-26; n=502. Wave 11: Sept. 22-23; n=502. Wave 12: Oct. 20-22; n=501. Wave 13: Nov. 17-18; n=504.
About Decision Analyst
Decision Analyst (www.decisionanalyst.com) is a global marketing research and analytical consulting firm specializing in strategy research, new product development, advertising testing, and advanced modeling for marketing decision optimization. For over 40 years, the firm has delivered competitive advantage to clients throughout the world in consumer-packaged goods, telecommunications, retail, technology, medical, and automotive industries.
Phone: 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166
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We are providing the Covid-19 Consumer Reactions Report (Updated Dec. 3 with Wave 13 Data) Free. Topics include:
- Level Of Concern
- Emotions Consumers are Experiencing
- Recent Stress Changes
- New COVID-19 Related Orders
- Beverage-Consumption Changes
- Stocking Up Behaviors
- Purchase/Investment Interest
- Access To Streaming Services
- 2020 Fall/Winter Activities
- Holiday Shopping
- Gifting Categories
- Outing/Gathering Comfort Levels
- Use Of Financial Advisors
- Charitable Donation Likelihood
- Likelihood To Get COVID-19 Vaccine
Restaurant Habits Survey
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