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COVID-19 UK Survey: As Lockdowns Ease, Visiting Family Comes First, While Travel and Leisure Can Wait

by David Mercer | 5月 11, 2020

The end to lockdown restrictions is beginning in many countries, if tentatively and in many different ways. Our latest survey, carried out with 1243 respondents in the UK between the 22nd and 23rd of April, suggests that 69% of people in the UK are looking forward to visiting family and friends again, well ahead of travelling (46%), eating out at restaurants (44%), shopping at stores (42%) and getting their hair cut (41%). Only 20% of people say they are most looking forward to going back to work, although people with children at home are nearly twice as likely to mention going back to work as those without kids.

When it comes to what people will do once restrictions are eased, visiting family and friends and resuming outdoor activities are the top priorities. In the UK, 68% plan to visit family immediately, although two thirds will do so cautiously.  Just over half will visit friends and engage in outdoor activities, while 49% intend to start shopping at stores again, although again many will do so only with caution.

UK post-corona activity plans

Not surprisingly travel and leisure are going to take much longer to get going again. Only around a fifth of people say they will start flying or using hotels immediately, most only with caution. More than 40% say they will wait and more than a quarter say they will only do these things again if they have to. 9% of respondents say they will never fly again.

It’s not good news for the entertainment events industry, either. Only 22% say they will start going to the movies, theatre or concerts immediately, with nearly three quarters saying they will wait or only go if they have to.

Other findings show that the biggest change in home technology behaviour in the UK in April was the increase in making video calls – 63% of respondents said they were doing this more because of COVID-19, compared to 54% who were watching more TV or streaming more video services and 40% who were playing more video games.

We also investigated the impact of the crisis on purchase intentions across a range of products and services. While some purchases have been postponed, we also found people who had brought forward their plans. We are continuing to analyse this data for our clients to help them gauge demand impact scenario during the remainder of 2020.

While consumers wait for more positive news about what will happen next, brands need to adapt and try to answer some key questions to appeal to consumers who have become much more cautious about their spending:

• How can we incentivize our offer to consumers? Which accessories/ bundled services/ other incentives can we offer to support the appeal of our core offer, without comprising customer value?

• Do we fully understand pricing and how sensitive different customer groups will be to changes to our prices? How much can we increase price by without losing customers? After which point does reducing price become ineffective?

• How do we prioritize the categories we operate in? Where are our customers most loyal and/or least price sensitive? Is there an opportunity to enter a new category and access new revenue streams?

David Mercer

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