Coronavirus is on all of our minds, screens and feeds – and for good reason.
The outbreak is causing fluid and unpredictable changes to our day-to-day lives, and businesses everywhere are understandably worried about the impact it will have on them.
In this article it’s highlighted what’s happening across the consumer landscape in the U.S. and UK.
1. Concern is widespread, but younger consumers are worried most
With over 100 countries having reported coronavirus cases and as a result of high-profile media coverage, it’s not surprising that over 90% of consumers now feel concerned.
This is most relevant for Generation Z (96%), and baby boomers (90%). Extremelyconcerned are 60% of millennials.
2. Consumers have changed their behaviours because of the virus
Over 80% respondent have made at least one change to their day-to-day lives as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak. Understandably, the most popular response is washing hands more frequently, reading the news more frequently, trying to avoid touching public surfaces such as door knobs / elevator buttons and avoiding rush hour and crowded places.
3. Personal financial concerns aren’t (yet) top of mind
At the moment, consumers are most concerned about the speed at which the virus is spreading, lack of a vaccine and chances of their friends, family or high-risk groups being infected.
Currently, only 20% are concerned about the impact it will have on their personal finances. This suggests consumers haven’t yet begun to consider the longer-term implications on their family finances, and are still more focused on the immediate spread.
4. Knowledge levels vary , especially by age
Baby boomers are the most likely to know how to minimize the risks of infection (e.g. by avoiding touching their eyes, noses or mouths with unwashed hands). Boomers are also the least likely generation to believe the urban myths that have been circulating in some corners, while Generation Z are almost 60% more likely to believe in at least one of them.
5. Work routines are already changing, especially for millennials
Changes to work routines are most pronounced among males and millennials. Millennials are the most likely to report altering the way they commute, as well as increased levels of remote working. In terms of changes enacted by companies, employees report the most common measures being the provision of sanitization products, as well as more regular communications and more frequent office cleaning.
6. Airlines are seen as having a particular responsibility
Over half consumers said that airlines should be reducing and cancelling flights to high-risk destinations to manage the spread of the virus.
7. There’s considerable enthusiasm for digital health appointments
Digital / virtual health appointments have been suggested as one way to deliver health assistance while minimizing the spread of the virus. And there’s considerable consumer support for this where over 6 in 10 believe they’re effective, and would consider using them.
8. Fears of a global recession are pronounced
Over half of consumers think a global recession is now likely. From an age perspective, Gen Z are more likely to be in the “uncertain” group. High-income groups are twice as likely as lower income ones to think a recession is extremely likely, while men are ahead of women.