Seismic Shifts in Consumer Behavior

A return to “normal” is months away, and once it arrives, consumers claim they will behave very differently, according to a new study of 6,500 consumers in six countries.

The research project, undertaken by FleishmanHillard's TRUE Global Intelligence practice, explores the COVID-19 mindset to understand how the virus is reshaping perceptions, behaviors, values and societies.

The St. Louis-based firm conducted simultaneous surveys of the United States, China, Germany, Italy, South Korea and the United Kingdom to gain a view of various stages and expectations of the crisis, voiced by a cross-section of the population, including health care workers, people at medical risk, and those considered essential workers (65% of working adults), all of whom seem to feel the impact more acutely.

While these countries are at various stages of the pandemic, the study illuminated some common experiences, including:

  • Consumers are most confident in their governments, and least confident in their employers.
  • Individuals are planning for the long-term and aren't planning to snap back to "normal" life.
  • While most understand there will be layoffs and furloughs, 89% expect employers to be generous and creative in mitigating the impact on workers.
  • Consumers are willing to help organizations support their employees.
  • Consumers plan to be cautious, even when the spread of the virus subsides – with substantial implications for economic and social recovery.
  • The pandemic has changed what people value, and they want new benefits and policies to endure.
  • Nearly everyone has felt the impact.

For a complete look at the study and a breakdown of the data, visit the website of Progressive Grocer's sister publication Retail Leader

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