11/25 Update: The Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Consumer Behavior


Numerator | November 25, 2020


As Americans head into the holiday season, COVID-19 cases are rising across the country, bringing increased concerns about contracting the virus and reinstated lockdown measures. COVID’s overall impact on shopping behavior this past month rose significantly, though specific behaviors like stocking upheld relatively steady.


Below are the key findings of Numerator's latest survey fielded through November 23, 2020.


  • COVID-19 has changed consumer behavior long-term. The way we eat and shop has drastically changed in light of the COVID-19 crisis, with many expecting these behaviors to stick.

  • Most consumers think a return to normal will take six-plus months.

  • This month, 84% of consumers said their shopping behavior had been impacted by Coronavirus, up from last month, and closer to what we saw in July and August.

  • Slight uptick in those experiencing out-of-stocks, which may be tied both to the surge in cases and also to the upcoming holidays.

  • With this increase in concern, Online delivery and Click and Collect are expected to continue to grow and stay an important shopping channel.

  • The overall level of concern was up from last month, with the number of consumers rating themselves as “very concerned (10/10)” rising from 27% to 28%. This is the highest level of concern we’ve seen since April.

  • Economic impact and fear of infection continue to be top of mind.

  • With cases on the rise across the country, it is likely we will begin to see behaviors and sentiments closer to those of the spring. However, adjustments made by retailers in light of COVID-19 and a broader understanding of safety precautions and risks are likely to make panic-buying less prevalent than seen at the beginning of the pandemic.


Read the full results here.


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