Understanding how consumers are responding to COVID-19: a round-up of studies

Around the world a broad range of surveys and research initiatives are underway to understand how COVID-19 is impacting society and consumers.

Here we list some of these initiatives that highlight the enormous need for insight into how consumers are responding in these fast-changing times with new and unprecedented questions that we have never faced before.

ATLAS VPN uses Google users’ local data to show how quarantine impacted the behaviours of citizens by comparing the mobility data of citizens in Italy, Spain, Germany, and the UK together with the timeline of their lockdowns. The report provides data on the mobility of workspace, retail and recreation, grocery and pharmacy fields and concludes that whilst the US has the most coronavirus cases in the world, it is one of the latest adopters of stay-at-home recommendations.

BASIS RESEARCH has launched a ‘Mood Tracker’: a longitudinal study designed to understand how consumers in the UK and USA are adjusting to COVID-19 and the potential long-term implications for brands. It will include weekly waves of insight, integrating qualitative and quantitative findings on how people’s lives are changing, what’s on their minds, how it is driving other behaviours and attitudes and a deep-dive on how behavioural needs for specific categories are changing, with a different category each week.

BFA GLOBAL has survey results of over 1,400 respondents in seven countries (India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, UK, and the US) showing how people at the bottom of the pyramid are dealing with COVID-19 and its impact on their finances. The survey instrument is available to the public in English and Spanish, so that other researchers may add to this dataset.

BRANDWATCH has an ongoing query on COVID-19 running in its Consumer Research social media listening platform looking at daily and weekly changes in consumer thoughts and feelings with daily and weekly email bulletins. It also has weekly survey data through its mobile survey tool.

BUZZBACK is running a Covid-19 tracking study in the US and the UK on how consumers’ lives and thoughts are changing in the age of Coronavirus. It covers topics such as family life and parental concern, worries about health and finances, as well as how consumers are spending their time.

CINT has published information on the impact of COVID-19 on supply and demand in market research. The company looked at two factors: demand (the number of projects run and completes per project) and supply (number of respondents available and entries into the platform). Charts are available in PDF format showing various metrics graphed alongside daily figures of confirmed COVID-19 cases up to 3 March in Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the US.

DISCOVER.AI is using AI to sample thousands of social media posts, forums and articles from more than 160 online sources relating to COVID-19 in the US, UK, China and Italy. Topics include parenting, care, working from home, public health, wellbeing and travel.

DYNATA has a COVID-19 weekly tracker looking at six consumer trend areas: economic, consumer purchasing and lifestyle choices, health and healthcare, information sources and trust, social behaviours and customs and when consumers think the crisis will end. The research, covering 14 countries, tracks how each indicator changes over time and will be posted on a weekly basis. The company has also published a version of its annual global trends report, focused on Covid-19.

Euromonitor International is tracking online product availability and price in 40 countries during the COVID-19 crisis with its new Via tool. The Data reflects daily updates and is available on a daily, weekly and monthly basis focusing on the FMCG industry.
A new COVID-19 scenario tool covering 54 countries is also available to assess the short and long term effects on economies, industries and consumers.

FINE RESEARCH has run a physician study in Latin American covering over 2200 doctors in 13 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Panama Uruguay, Venezuela), on their evaluation of public initiatives, hospital infrastructure, citizen awareness, patient profiles and future outlook. The research, completed online, via Fine’s medical community, is intended to provide early information on physicians’ perceptions of the pandemic and experience with COVID-19 patients to contribute to public awareness and effective decision making.

GfK is providing a Resource Centre with a Consumer Pulse report with access to single country reports across 30 markets. Included are weekly updates to understand consumer perceptions as well as changes in consumers’ purchasing patterns and media consumption. The report also covers the immediate as well as short and mid-term impact across major industries with projections on what to anticipate next.

GLOBALWEBINDEX is running a study which looks at how different generations are reacting to the pandemic. The first release of the study into 13 global markets looked at the scale of its impact on the consumer landscape including changes in media consumption, attitudes to making major purchases and impact on personal finances. The second wave of this study, fielded in 17 markets between March 31 – April 2 shows how that picture has evolved.

INSITES CONSULTING launched a global qualitative online community with 102 consumers from 13 countries at the beginning of April. Throughout the lockdown period, consumers have discussed how their thoughts, feelings and behaviours have changed, on topics including shopping, self-care, the environment and everyday life.

IPSOS is tracking public perceptions and behavioural response in 14 markets. The weekly data includes behaviours, financial impact, counter measures and attitudes/fears. The survey is conducted on the Global Advisor online platform among 28,000 adults in Australia, Brazil, Canada China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Vietnam, the UK and US. Where available, tracking results from previous studies, conducted through March and selected results from February are referenced by date.

KANTAR has launched a Covid-19 Barometer – a syndicated study on how the pandemic is influencing consumer behaviour, attitudes and expectations. The  research surveys over 30,000 consumers in more than 50 markets. The study looks at how changing attitudes has impacted purchase behaviour and consumption of media and social channels as well as the implications for brands and marketing. The company has also launched a public opinion survey of 7,000 participants in the G7 nations, exploring how citizens view their governments’ actions.

KASI INSIGHT’S Covid-19 survey tracks African consumer attitudes and behaviours, what changes they are making to their lives and how it will impact brands and businesses. The company is conducting over 3,200 interviews across South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon. Findings from the survey are published in a free monthly report.

KOKORO’s CoronaWatch sentiment tracker covers the UK, Germany, France and the US. It measures overall sentiment towards the virus, actions taken to prevent it, changes in consumption patterns, brands being turned to/ignored and why plus responses to how brands are communicating with consumers.

LEGER is conducting a weekly survey of Americans and Canadians on topics such as fear of the virus, views on whether the response to the pandemic is proportionate, and how common behaviour has been impacted including the practice of social distancing and shopping habits.

MARU ‘s COVID-19 tracker looks at changing consumer behaviour in the US, Canada and the UK. Results are available daily or weekly and include the 20 metrics that have changed the most over the first 31 days of change, relationships, personal finances, and mental and physical health.

MERCER is tracking how businesses are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions cover current and future impact on business, preparing for return to work, and changes to benefits, compensation and incentives. The global surveys will update with new questions on a monthly basis.

LUTH RESEARCH is running a weekly tracker from its community of panelists, based on a sample weighted to the demographics of the US online population. Topics include expectations for how long it will take for the virus to start declining in the US, return to normal spending patterns and categories where spending is higher, less or the same.

NIELSEN is tracking the impact of COVID-19 on consumer sentiment and behaviour in FMCG, retail and media in over 70 markets. Areas covered include market sentiment, the e-commerce ecosystem including changes in shopping behaviour, travel behaviour and the impact on leisure and business travel and categories on demand.

PULSAR is launching a #NewNormal dashboard identifying and tracking emerging trends in consumer behaviour in response to COVID-19. The analysis is based on millions of online conversations across social media, search, forums and news websites The company will publish weekly snapshots in the new normal trends dashboard highlighting cultural shifts and insights using data from social media, search, news and web analytics. .

RECONNECT RESEARCH is running a huge continuous tracker in the US looking at changes in consumer attitudes and behavior, as well as the incidence of experiencing symptoms, consulting medical professionals and positive testing. It then looks at all of this through the twin lenses of demographics and political affiliation. Because it is a phone intercept study, it reaches all the populations so often missing or under-represented in others: African Americans, the elderly, undocumented immigrants and the poor.

RESPONDI’s  stayhome diary series captures, in real time, the consequences of the pandemic using quantitative and passive metering methodologies. Data sources include usage of waze per day to compare travel data and compliance with lockdown instructions, as well as browsing data and surveys to compare how habits are changing and levels of concern across France, Germany and the UK.

RTI RESEARCH is running a twice-weekly study of American attitudes and behavior.

SAVANTA is offering a survey and trackers on changing shifts in attitudes and behaviours during the COVID-19 crisis. These include a daily tracker of UK adults, a weekly tracker of UK and US consumers, trackers covering businesses in the UK (bi-weekly) and US (weekly), and a quarterly omnibus focused on wealthy people in the UK, US and China.

STREETBEES is running a COVID-19 Human Impact Tracker which monitors shifts in habits and attitudes across 10 markets (China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, South Korea, the UK and the US). The study looks at the impact of staying home from the consumers’ point of view including access to usage and shopping data with photos and videos.

SYSTEM1 is running a weekly 12-country tracker to capture how people are responding to the pandemic around the world. Metrics include national mood, issues such as routine changes and perception of government action as well as ads and initiatives that ‘are getting it right’ using data from the company’s ad testing service.

TOLUNA & HARRIS INTERACTIVE are running a bi-weekly online Coronavirus Barometer with consumers in 18 countries to understand the impact of the virus on daily life. Topics include levels of concern over getting essential suppliers, caring for dependents and the impact on wider society, support from employers, governments and local communities, and expectations of life once the crisis is over.

YOUGOV is conducting an international tracker interviewing more than 27,000 people across 26 markets, with results forming part of a larger survey series covering various topics ranging from brands to politics. The company is also conducting research in France, Germany, APAC, the UK and the USA, on how the pandemic is affecting businesses.

ZAPPI has conducted research on how COVID-19 is impacting consumer responses to advertising and innovation testing in the China, Italy, Mexico, the UK and the US. The study compares the results of three waves (18 March, 2 and 15 April) to re-test 26 concepts and advertisements across six consumer categories with 4,050 consumers, aiming to understand how the virus is impacting survey responses over time.

For more studies, especially those covering single markets, go to ESOMAR’s COVID-19 Reports site.


Fonte: Research World

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