Pandemic Sea Change: Buyers Are Focused On Essential Items And Price, Study Says

Maybe you’re tired of hearing about masks, social distancing and COVID-19 on a 24/7 basis. But the pandemic should still inform your email marketing, judging by a study from Bospar, a boutique tech PR firm, conducted by Propeller Insights.

Almost all Americans say COVID-19 has changed the way they purchase, including 86% who say it has changed for B2B offerings and 80% for B2C.

And customers in both camps are “only buying essential goods, the study says.  

Buying only essential goods is the most popular B2C choice, cited by 35%. Another 30% are more concerned about price. 

In B2B, 40% say they are more selective, while 33% say they buy only essential goods and 29% say they are driven by price. 

This varies slightly from recent studies showing that you will get more email opens by mentioning price and discounts in email subject lines than you will with language about your corporate values. 

Still, you better make sure you have a diverse workforce, help healthcare workers fighting the virus and support essential employees like those providing groceries, the study points out. 



Of the Americans surveyed, 84% believe the pandemic is not over, and 78% say COVID-19 has had an impact on them. They are:

More fearful —33%

Working less hours — 24% 

Unemployed —16%

More hopeful — 10%

Working more hours — 9%

Going to change how they vote in the presidential election — 8% 

Got sick but don’t know if it’s COVID-19 — 6%

Lost a family member to COVID-19 — 5%

Got sick from COVID-19 — 3%

Given that frame of mind, U.S. shoppers want to see businesses: 

Help health workers fighting COVID-19--49% 

Hire a diverse workforce — 34%  

Help essential workers like grocery employees — 45%

Make a statement with actions on supporting Black Lives Matter — 30%

Invest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs — 26% 

Marketers should include a paragraph in their emails saying that they do some or all of these things. 

“These numbers show what marketers and communicators already suspected—that COVID-19 has profoundly affected us all,” states Curtis Sparrer, a Bospar principal.  

Sparrer adds that “brands looking to connect with their audiences are going to need to be focused on corporate social responsibility while also being mindful of bottom-line issues like pricing.” 

And don't forget to wear a mask.

Propeller surveyed 1,014 Americans.


1 comment about "Pandemic Sea Change: Buyers Are Focused On Essential Items And Price, Study Says".
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  1. PJ Lehrer from NYU, August 5, 2020 at 10:46 a.m.

    Lots of worrying here...

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