Since 18th March 2020, the Bauer Media insights team has been running a study tracking consumer behaviour and attitudes during lockdown. As lockdown eases, the latest survey looks at how behaviours and attitudes have evolved, habits have been formed and which trends will potentially stick as lockdown eases and beyond. The latest results show that consumers are more optimistic about planning to spend again once lockdown is completely lifted, with many consumers permanently adopting habits gained during lockdown. From shopping online and being more adventurous in the kitchen to making home improvements and shopping locally, many consumers have learned new lessons and behaviours that they will carry on post-lockdown and will impact future purchase decisions.
Results from the survey conducted between 17-22nd July show that 46% of people agreed that lockdown had reinforced the importance of having a car, and more than 1 in 4 agreed that they were exercising more than they were previously. With a third of people stating that they are more comfortable buying certain things online that they were not previously, the online shopping habit is here to stay – for example, 94% of people said they will be doing the same amount or more of their Christmas present shopping online this year.
With more consumer confidence and optimism, it is also predicted that spending will increase once lockdown has been lifted. 83% of respondents said that they will be spending the same amount or more once normal life resumes.
However, consumers are more price sensitive and liable to switch brands due to changed behaviour during lockdown. During the crisis, 91% of consumers stated that they switched brands – either due to lack of stock or because other brands were on offer – and 88% agree that they are still switching brands even as lockdown eases. 43% say that they are now more tempted by offers and deals than they were before lockdown. The tone of advertising expected by consumers is evolving – 81% agree that brands should not exploit the crisis with 50% saying that brands should show how they are contributing during the pandemic. Both of these measures have declined since the peak of lockdown.
Changing media habits are likely to continue too, with a large of majority of people agreeing that they have consumed more media during lockdown and will maintain their usage. 16% of people said that they are reading more magazines even as lockdown eases, and 82% of those said they will read more afterwards. There has been a similar pattern with radio consumption, where 26% of people said that they were listening to more radio even as lockdown eases, and 88% of those said that they will continue to listen to more radio post lockdown.
Advertisers have also recognised the value of radio during lockdown. In a separate survey of its advertisers, Bauer Media found that 83% agree that lockdown has provided a positive impact on radio, with many seeing that it is the most resilient media during challenging times.
Abby Carvosso, Group MD, Bauer Advertising, said: “At Bauer Media we have been conducting research continuously throughout the lockdown to ensure that our customers are always up to date with the latest consumer trends and behaviour in response to the pandemic, and it is just as important to uncover these insights as lockdown eases and we slowly return back to norm. It is interesting to note that both radio and magazines have played a key role for consumers during lockdown and advertisers have valued the resilience of radio during this time. We’re delighted to work with advertisers using our insights and expertise to ensure that they can address these changing customer needs, both now and in the future.”
The survey data was gathered between 17-22nd July, surveying 886 people from the Bauer Media Insiders panel, using a nationally representative sample weighted on gender, age, social grade and region.
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About Bauer Media UK:
Bauer Media UK reaches over 25 million UK consumers through a portfolio of world-class, multi-platform media and entertainment brands including heat, KISS, Grazia, Empire, Magic, Absolute Radio and the Hits Radio Network. These brands offer commercial partners access to highly engaged audiences, with creative solutions underpinned by insight and instinct. Bauer Media UK is part of the Bauer Media Group, one of the world’s largest privately owned media businesses with media assets all over the globe.