Since the beginning of the pandemic, a search for a meaning of a “new normal” has progressed at a rapid pace. As consumer behavior continues to adapt to ongoing changes multiple reports show that though fear is on its way to a decline, consumers remain warry.
In its June 2020 consumer pulse, Kelton found that consumers have reported that they are starting to become more optimistic about spending even if they are not converting the action. Many have continued to monitor spending with nearly 74 percent saying they have kept a “strict budget.” Important to note is the large variance found between race and ethnicity in the perception of the economy. In fact, in the first week of June, 82 percent of Black respondents said the “U.S. economy is on the wrong track,” compared to 75 percent of Asian respondents, 68 percent of Latinx respondents and 60 percent of white respondents.
Kelton’s findings further show that racial issues have recently overtaken public health and the economy as the country’s main crisis in the eyes of the American consumer. While 61 percent of Americans said they believe we are in an extreme racial crisis, only 49 percent said they believe we are in an extreme public health crisis and 43 percent said they believe we are in an extreme economic crisis. Amid the historic movement, 44 percent of respondents said they have taken an action including registering to vote, protesting, contacting public officials or donating money to nonprofits or charities.
Further, Kelton’s study revealed “nervousness” and “stress” were the top two emotions that consumers feel while shopping today. “Their mind-set when they shop resembles that of a military mission,” said authors of the report. “People gear up for shopping with special clothes, they go into it with a singular focus to get in and out as quickly as possible, and they feel triumphant when they conquer their shopping list.”
Meanwhile, new data from Engine Insights revealed that 86 percent of consumers are concerned about spikes in cases within states, with 55 percent saying they are very concerned. The survey also found the highest specific concerns to be financially related with 88 percent saying the state of the U.S. economy was of most concern, 87 percent saying the state of the global economy, and 67 percent saying personal finances due to the coronavirus.
As cases begin to rise in the U.S. again, there was an additional 8 percent increase for an overall 77 percent of consumers who said they are concerned about contracting the coronavirus. Another 81 percent said they are also concerned about a family member contracting the coronavirus. Notably, 73 percent of U.S. consumers said they wear a mask, showing a 6 percent increase from the company’s previous survey. And 79 percent of respondents said they wear a mask because it is the “responsible/right thing to do.”
A need for businesses to remain closed also saw an increase week-over-week, with 83 percent of consumers saying they believe businesses should remain restricted for two months or longer and 41 percent saying they believe these restrictions should extend longer than six months.
At the same time, as consumers continue to share more personal information with companies in recent months, Disqo conducted a consumer trust study to determine consumer confidence across industries. Overall, data revealed that consumers have increased trust levels across every category, with trust in social media platforms showing the most growth. Consumers’ trust in social media increased 24 percent between January and June, with a 4 percent drop in May. Social media remains the least trusted source.
In contrast, at 73 percent confidence, financial institutions are the most trusted source by consumers, experiencing a small 4 percent increase from January to June. Respondents were also confident in online retailers. Overall, 62 percent said they trust online retailers, remaining consistent over time. Even a majority of seniors reported confidence in online retailers with a slightly lower 57 percent trust rating.
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