Around the world, markets and consumers are now living with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and businesses are reorienting to the changing global corona-economy, each with varying levels of success.
Nielsen is tracking these changes and establishing clear navigation beacons for companies trying to understand the changes and plan for what comes next. We’ll be updating this page regularly with the latest news and insights.
ANTICIPATING THE LONG-TERM IMPACT OF COVID-19
The impact of the current pandemic will be felt by countries, consumers and businesses around the world for years to come. As countries ease restrictions in an effort to restart their economies, the evidence of significant structural, economic, employment and policy effects will manifest in permanent, changed consumer behavior. Much of the long-term impact will depend on a market’s ability to create a stable, adjusted normal and navigate through three exit scenarios.
Companies will need to consider the implications of consumers’ changed needs and behaviors and reconfigure their strategies for the future, while still creating agile solutions for today’s environment.
COVID-19 RELATED UNEMPLOYMENT IS DIVIDING CONSUMERS
With future socio-economic consequences weighing much heavier on spending decisions, the impact across consumer groups isn’t equal. Constrained spenders, or those whose incomes have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, will spend to survive, compared with insulated spenders, who may adjust situationally even though their incomes remain unchanged by the pandemic.
CONSUMER BEHAVIORS ARE BEING RESET
As countries reopen businesses, even as total global infection rates soar, consumer behavior will recalibrate, drastically widening the gap between consumers and countries who remain shielded from the harshness of the economic impact and those who are not. The Nielsen Intelligence Unit has identified four emerging behavioral patterns that can help predict the drivers of pandemic purchase decisions moving forward.
MEDIA HABITS ARE SHIFTING
Pre-pandemic, media hours were shaped largely by when employees clocked in and out. As many workers have shifted to work from home due to social distancing measures, work schedules have become more flexible. And audiences have shifted their media habits accordingly. Whether its streaming video content, listening to podcasts or browsing social media, a majority of U.S. consumers in a recent Nielsen survey have reported partaking in these behaviors during work hours.