COVID-19 & Its Impact on Everyday Life: March 20 – 23, 2020
It’s known that consumer behavior and brand preferences change during major life events, whether the purchase of a new home or birth of a child. These life events happen to a relatively minor percentage of Americans each year.
We are in the midst of a major life event occurring across the entire population. We see it impacting behavior and our research from this past weekend suggests some of these changes will stick in the long-term.
Over the past three weeks, Russell Research has interviewed over 3,000 Americans about their concerns with coronavirus and how it is impacting their everyday and planned behavior. Russell Research’s COVID-19 Monitor will evolve in the coming weeks as the situation changes.
Below are our key findings from March 20 – 23, 2020.
Views of the Current Situation
Concern has become a near universal mind state. Between March 20-23, nearly nine in ten Americans (89%) indicated that they are concerned about coronavirus, increasing from 78% one week prior, and a 27-point increase (62%) versus two weeks ago.
The percentage of Americans who feel the situation is getting worse continues to increase. Nearly seven in ten Americans (69%) believe the current situation is getting worse, compared to 66% last week.
Impact on Behavior
More than one-half of Americans are now avoiding most transportation and lodging options.
- 70% are less likely to go on vacation (+20 percentage points vs. last week)
- 69% are less likely to fly on an airplane (+13)
- 63% are less likely to use public transportation (+13)
- 58% are less likely to stay at a hotel (+20)
- 53% are less likely to use ride-sharing services (+17)
- 38% are less likely to rent a car (new this week)
Americans are increasingly avoiding retail environments, even those which may be necessary for food and supplies.
- 72% are less likely to go to a shopping mall (+25 percentage points vs. last week)
- 50% are less likely to go to a large store (+19)
- 31% are less likely to go to a convenience store (+15)
- 26% are less likely to go to a supermarket (+9)
Major purchases, home renovations, and repairs are being delayed by many.
- 62% of Americans who were planning a large home improvement project are holding off for now (new)
- 42% are less likely to make a major or big-ticket purchase (+14 vs. last week)
- 39% are less likely to have a contractor in their home (+19)
Behavior change is accelerating and many believe these changes will hold in the long-term.
- 62% are more likely to shop online (+12) and 34% believe they will continue to do it more often once the COVID-19 situation improves
- 57% are more likely to stream TV shows or movies (new) and 30% believe they will continue to do it more often
- 55% are more likely to exercise at home (+16) and 29% believe they will continue to do it more often
- 45% are more likely to order takeout or delivery (+21) and 17% believe they will continue to do it more often
- 39% are more likely to be playing video games (+new) and 19% believe they will continue to do it more often
- 29% are more likely to have groceries delivered (+6) and 12% believe they will continue to do it more often
Emotional State of America
Caution and uncertainty are the predominant feelings across the country.
- 89% of Americans report feeling 1 or more negative emotions compared to 55% who report they have 1 or more positive
- Feeling cautious (53%), uncertain (47%), stressed (43%), and anxious (40%) are the most common emotions.
Digital and TV are receiving more attention while audio formats popular among commuters are being negatively impacted.
- 53% of Americans are paying more attention to the Internet/Web compared to before the coronavirus situation.
- 45% of Americans are paying more attention to Streaming TV.
- 42% of Americans are paying more attention to Traditional TV.
- 20% of Americans are paying less attention to Radio.
- 27% of Americans are paying less attention to Podcasts.