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The Lookout

Studying Shifts in Consumer Behavior Through COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has direct effects on our daily life – changing the way people work, where they go, what they buy and how they interact with the world around them.

To track these shifts, Publics Sapient’s Management Consulting team has partnered with analytics platform ContentSquare to produce The LookOut, an ongoing study of the evolution of e-commerce and how consumers are interacting with brands online throughout the pandemic. Research and analysis combines e-commerce and website data, along with social listening, public panel and government data, published reports and press reviews to develop a holistic view of consumer behavior and impact across industries in France, the UK and the United States.

  • Consumers are buying for life at home: As visits to physical retailers declined, e-commerce saw an overall 31 percent increase in transactions. But as people are buying more online, they’re also changing what they’re buying to accommodate to life at home. Research found that high tech (62 percent), household equipment (120 percent), toys, gifts and books (112 percent), and sports equipment (77 percent) saw significant uptick in consumer purchases. Online media services, like streaming platforms and home movie viewing, are also on the rise, with a 347 percent increase in audience in France, and 42 percent in the UK.
  • Remote work is more than just a buzzword: Stay-at-home measures have also sparked increases in remote workforces, with virtual conferencing platforms like Zoom experiencing 20x growth in users between December 2019 and March 2020. On social media, more people are sharing their stories with others – data shows that remote work sparked more than 185,000 Twitter conversations across the U.S., the UK and France.
47 percent
The number of people in the U.S. saying they have tried or intend to try telemedicine in March, an increase from 27 percent in December.
31 percent
The increase in March of e-commerce purchases
  • Consumers embrace telemedicine: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has sparked new interest in telemedicine services, which has long struggled with adoption. Research found that remote consultations saw a 4,000+ percent increase in France. In the U.S., more people are trying telemedicine, with 47 percent surveyed saying they have tried or intend to try telemedicine in March 2020 (compared to only 27 percent in December 2019).

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