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Reply leverages Data and Analytics to gain insight into the impact of the novel coronavirus on society, consumers and industries. Using the Quentin Search Data tool developed by TD Reply, which aggregates data from Google Trends and Google Ads, this report focuses on how COVID-19 impacted different social groups by analysing a day in their lives.
This report is in no way intended to distract from the fact that the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus is primarily a human tragedy affecting hundreds of thousands of people.
As the situation evolves rapidly, please note that this page reflects the data collected up until 9 June 2020.
The graph below shows the main consumers’ interests during a typical COVID-19 day.
4) Virtual School / Remote Work
6) Online Shopping
7) Online Videos
8) Video Games
9) Social Media
Search data retrieved from Google for one proxy market, the US between 01 June - 08 June 2020.
The pandemic has rearranged consumers’ needs in general. At the same time, it created specific groups of people with similar demands. It’s an opportunity for businesses to consider these groups and respond to their needs.
In order to better understand the changes caused by COVID-19 and which trends might settle into a new normal, this report will focus on 5 different groups.
These are people who work on services that are essential for the society, usually related to healthcare and welfare, for example, medical services, supermarkets and public transport. They are at significant COVID-19 risk, which can affect every aspect of their lives.
Many key workers are subject to a higher infection risk and still have to rely on public transport, putting others at risk. Bike and car-sharing schemes have been put in place in many cities to help them commute.
COVID-19 deaths are significantly higher amongst essential workers, particularly those working in healthcare. Many feel they do not have adequate PPE to protect them.
Some workers struggle with the anxiety of bringing the virus into their home, with some having to isolate themselves from their family at home or even seeking alternative accommodation elsewhere.
Essential workers hope to maintain the respect they earned during the pandemic – some might see it reflected in higher wages and additional hazard pay. However, the search interest on their role has been dropping since May.
¹ Data retrieved from Quentin, TD Reply’s Search Data tool, across 6 markets (DE, ES, IT, FR, UK and USA). CW13-20 2019 vs CW13-20 2020. ² Sources: www.statista.com/statistics/1111407/covid-19-health-concerns-of-healthcare-workers-in-the-uk/, www.statista.com/statistics/1110950/coronavirus-covid-19-cases-among-medical-staff-italy-as-of-april/
These are mostly office workers, STEM workers and service workers, who could maintain their work routine by working from home. The extra spare time caused a growth of home projects and an increase in the interest in cooking and ingredients.
The higher interest in cuisine seems to be here to stay. Interest in cooking and baking activities increased by 59% and still is above 2019 figures.
Being stuck indoors led people to expand home improvement projects. There were higher sales of interior furniture and gardening supplies during the lockdowns.
Even if many workers had to tighten their belts or struggled when furloughed, some had a cash surplus while unable to spend their money. Also, a record amount of public financial aid has been paid-off this year.
The pause caused by the lockdown gave many people time to reflect on life priorities. As the lockdown eases, most regular workers will slowly go back to normal, but with more remote working options and flexible hours.
¹ Data retrieved from Quentin, TD Reply’s Search Data tool, across 6 markets (DE, ES, IT, FR, UK and USA). CW13-20 2019 vs CW13-20 2020.
Many families had to juggle with childcare, education and jobs during the lockdown, which changed the way parents spend time with their children and also led to an increase in the purchase of necessary supplies.
Parents usually choose outdoor activities as the weather gets warmer. COVID-19 however, skewed interest towards indoor activities in March. The balance shifted back to the outdoors in May.
Not having to rush out for school and office freed extra time to spend in the morning. Many families had enjoyed a longer breakfast during the lockdowns.
Lockdowns drove increased purchases of necessary supplies like toilet paper and soap. Parents had a few additional things on their minds – infant formula and diapers.
As we settle into the “new normal”, parents will have to find better ways to cope with their home becoming a makeshift school and office simultaneously.
of parents are concerned about the future of their children’s education2
parents spend per week on top of their household responsibilities since the beginning of the crisis3
¹ Data retrieved from Quentin, TD Reply’s Search Data tool, across 6 markets (DE, ES, IT, FR, UK and USA). CW13-20 2019 vs CW13-20 2020. ² Sources: news.gallup.com/poll/305819/parents-worry-covid-affect-child-education.aspx, ³ Sources: Source: www.bcg.com/publications/2020/helping-working-parents-ease-the-burden-of-covid-19.aspx
High school students and those studying higher education, typically between the late teens and early twenties, had to switch to distance learning during COVID-19. Interest in virtual meetups and hangouts spiked and the trend continues.
Online streaming, gaming and social media proved to be a blessing for this group, providing them with sufficient entertainment options at home.
Part-time jobs quickly disappeared during lockdown. Students who rely on these jobs have been forced to think about loans or seek help from the state.
Compared to 2019, 61% more people searched for “miss school” and “miss my friends”. Online happy hours and virtual dates are now a part of everyday life.
Schools and colleges in affected markets were quick to move to online classes. Struggling to keep up with their schoolwork, many students flocked to the internet to find help from online tutors. Further ahead, students will most likely need to study remotely or attend online courses as part of the “new normal”.
Elderly citizens or those with pre-existing health conditions are at higher risk if they contract COVID-19. Their inability to engage face-to-face with others raises concerns regarding loneliness and depression. Also worrying is the decrease of non-COVID-19 related medical appointments.
Since their daily life activities have been significantly limited, many people in this group feel they are now being treated as if they had a disability, increasing levels of loneliness and depression.
more depressive symptoms seen in German respondents during the pandemic1
of respondents showed levels of depression in the US during April versus the 37% norm2
Many citizens have chosen not to seek help for non-COVID-19 illnesses in fear of being exposed to the virus. It could point to a later health crisis, as conditions are being left unchecked for longer.
People have been relying on close contacts to bring basic products into their house – consequently increasing the use of neighborhood social media apps to connect with neighbors.
The ongoing risk will not decline until the development of a vaccine so this group can get immunised. Their lives will continue to be significantly affected until this point.
¹ Source: www.ndr.de/nachrichten/niedersachsen/braunschweig_harz_goettingen/Studie-Corona-Regeln-verstaerken-Depressionen,depression274.html
² Source: www.healthline.com/health-news/what-covid-19-is-doing-to-our-mental-health#Signs-of-mental-health-issues-are-not-always-easy-to-spot
³ Data retrieved from Quentin, TD Reply’s Search Data tool, across 6 markets (DE, ES, IT, FR, UK and USA). CW13-20 2019 vs CW13-20 2020.
COVID-19 accelerated the digitalisation of business, education and social connection. Even the traditionally resistant elders had to digitalise in order to keep connected with friends and family. This is the new normal for our lifestyles and it’s unlikely to revert post-COVID-19 as everyone seems to benefit from a more digital world.
Online classes generated benefits and challenges for students, with many having to seek additional support beyond their digital lessons. After COVID-19, mixed learning techniques could push education into the future, with education providers offering digital and face-to-face learning opportunities at the same time.
We have seen brand messages getting adapted to the changes of lifestyle and priorities during the pandemic. Initially, brands were able to reach consumers by using a stronger sense of community and solidarity. From this point, it will be important to acknowledge consumers’ slower pace of life, increased focus on family and self-care, and interconnectivity.