Taking A Cue From The Quarantine: Consumers Are Engaging And Shopping More, Study Shows

Critics have ridiculed the plethora of emails stressing corporate values. But consumers may have viewed them more favorably than we thought.

A staggering 80% of consumers recall seeing an ad with COVID-19 messaging. And 84% of those came away with either a better opinion of the brand, or did not change their view, according to Consumer Insight Survey Q2 2020,  a new study from AKI Technologies, working with TapResearch.

But some message themes are seen more favorably than others:

  • Safety precautions — 57%
  • Change in business — 50%
  • Thanking heroes — 48%
  • Special distancing promotion — 47%
  • Quarantine, entertainment/activity — 45%
  • Payment forgiveness — 44% 
  • We’re here for you — 36% 
  • Something else — 23%



Meanwhile, the pandemic has changed shopping behaviors for 78% of consumers. But not all of the shift is positive, as 43% say they now shop less often. 

Still, 59% of the online purchasers are new to ecommerce, and 68% of those plan to continue in the future.

Of those polled, 68% bought a product based on an ad of some kind, with 29% buying it in the last month, 25% in the last week and 15% on the last day of the survey period.  

Also, 76% have become more open to trying new brands. But 47% feel that buying online instead of in-store results in fewer impulse purchases. 

Here’s one lesson for emailers in particular: discounts work. The biggest purchase drivers in ad are:

  • It offered a discount — 28%
  • It explained the product — 15%
  • It made me feel good about the product — 15%
  • It showed a benefit of the product — 15%
  • It reminded me to purchase the product — 13% 
  • It made me aware of the product — 12% 

This seems to be in line with classic email and direct mail practice: You need a strong offer or discount, a description of what the product does and a strong call to action.

Of the consumers who recall ads, 355 recall seeing them on TV. But 54 cited seeing them on an app/phone and 48 cited seeing them on the internet/online. Google was last, listed by 5.

Here the brands that consumers most remember seeing in ads:

  • Geico
  • AT&T
  • Toyota
  • Progressive
  • McDonald’s
  • Charmin
  • Amazon

And shoppers list these brands as the ones they’ve heard of, bought more than once or would buy over others in the same category:

  1. Apple
  2. Nike
  3. Blue Bunny Ice Cream
  4. Kohler
  5. Aveeno
  6. Campari
  7. Philips
  8. Stonyield Organic
  9. Starbucks Coffee

In another finding, 83% changed their media consumption habits. Invited to select all that apply, consumers say: 

  • I watch more TV — 47%
  • I spend more time on my phone — 38% 
  • I play more games — 36%
  • I read more news — 35% 
  • I consume more media overall — 33%

Finally, the quarantine has had some silver lining benefits: 

  • Family
  • Slowdown/More time
  • Home Time 
  • Nothing 
  • Health
  • Alone Time
  • Entertainment 

The researchers surveyed 1,000 U..S. consumers. 

2 comments about "Taking A Cue From The Quarantine: Consumers Are Engaging And Shopping More, Study Shows".
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  1. Jordan Bunnell from Local Language Art, June 22, 2020 at 6:35 p.m.

    The link is broken. Where can I see the study? 

  2. Stephanie Klimaszewski from Aki replied, June 23, 2020 at 12:17 p.m.

    The study is here:

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