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Covid-19 poll daily insights
April 15, 2020
- Most respondents expect brick-and-mortar stores to be closed until the end of May.
- Essential workers say they’re relying more on word-of-mouth recommendations as a way to discover new brands.
- About half of respondents say they are only buying essentials, but for some what counts as essential has changed.
Most people say they think we’ll have at least six more weeks of brick-and-mortar store closures. Forty-three percent of respondents think stores will be closed through the end of May. This was true of people across states with varying stay-at-home guidelines. Twenty-five percent of people say they have no idea when businesses will reopen.
Essential workers discover more places to shop through word-of-mouth. While 71 percent of non-essential workers say they use Google Search to discover new online retailers, only 53 percent of essential workers say they use Google for this reason. However, essential workers are relying slightly more on word-of-mouth recommendations: 43 percent of essential workers say they find new retailers this way, compared to 36 percent of non-essential workers.
Half of respondents say they are only buying essentials. Fifty-one percent of respondents said they are only purchasing essentials at the moment. Many say they’re being cautious due to financial concerns, or worries about delivery safety.
However, it’s worth noting that while we define “essentials” as food and beverages for the purposes of this survey, some respondents have a broader idea of which products they consider essential for themselves. For some, that category includes beauty products. Products for homeschooling and work-from home setups have also become important. As one student noted, “ink for printing school docs” now feels like an essential purchase.
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What are people buying and why?
People are experiencing delays across many types of different purchases. Some say they can’t get what they need for a month, either because the products are unavailable, the delivery times are booked, or orders are delayed. With that in mind, some say they’re preparing far in advance. A few people mentioned that they’re already starting to buy gifts for Mother’s Day to ensure that their purchases arrive in time.
While some are focused on saving money, others are looking for ways to treat themselves and feel better, from self-care products to specialty alcohol and entertainment. As one person said “I’ve started spending more on beauty—it makes me feel comforted in this time.”
Gardening supplies continue to be on many people’s minds. As nicer weather arrives, some noted stocking up on everything from soil to flowers and tools. Landscaping is important too: As one person said, they’re planning to buy “rocks to improve our lawn.”