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Covid-19 poll daily insights

April 7, 2020

  • People under 45 say their buying behavior has become more impulsive.
  • More non-essential workers say that they’re buying beauty, health, and fitness products compared to essential workers.
  • More than half of respondents living in states impacted by stay-at-home orders plan to spend less than usual in the coming weeks.


Buying behaviors are shifting. Nineteen percent of respondents under 45 said they were buying more impulsively than usual, compared to only five percent of those 45 and over. Overall, 89 percent of those under 45 reported spending differently than usual—either spending more or planning more purchases in advance—compared to just 72 percent of those 45 and over. On the other hand, 55 percent of those 45 and over say they’re planning their purchases out more than usual.

shifts in purchasing behavior by age 4-7

Non-essential workers are buying more “new essentials.” Non-essential workers in some states have been working remotely for up to three weeks now, while most essential workers are still reporting to their workplaces as usual. In past surveys, many people said they’ve been buying beauty, cosmetics and grooming products to help them create a routine while at home, so it’s not surprising that those who are spending more time at home are buying more of these products. Thirty-six percent of non-essential workers have recently purchased beauty and health products, compared to 29 percent of essential workers.

On a similar note, some non-essential workers mentioned concerns about adjusting to a more sedentary lifestyle, which may be one reason why they’re spending more on health and fitness products.Thirty-six percent of non-essential workers are buying health and fitness products, compared to 25 percent of essential workers.

Beauty and Health Spend by Non-Essential vs. Essential Workers 4-7

Stay-at-home orders impact spending. While most states around the US have issued some variation of a stay-at-home order, a handful of states are carrying on daily life with fewer precautions, including Arkansas, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. More than 47 percent of respondents in those states report spending about the same amount as usual, compared to 27 percent of those in the rest of the US.

Planned Spend by Statewide Stay-at-Home Order 4-7

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Consumer sentiment

What are people buying and why?

Many people have started to mention needing to replace things they are running out of.

For some, that means stocking up on more breakfast food. People called out needing to buy more milk, bread and eggs as they spend more time at home and use groceries at a faster pace. As one person said, their shopping list includes “eggs and milk: I eat them a lot.”

Others tell us that they’re buying alcoholic beverages to enjoy at home, whether they’re participating in videochat happy hours or pairing a bottle of wine with dinner. Several people called out their plans to buy ingredients for fancy cocktails. As one person said, “beverages. because I like to drink.”

Of course, some things about life at home have stayed the same. Pets are as mischievous as ever. As one person told us, they just need to replace “makeup brushes, because my dog chewed mine.”

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