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MAi Research Finds Consumer Behavior Set to Change After COVID-19

New research spotlights the long-term social impact on consumer behavior.

MAi Research Finds Consumer Behavior Set to Change After COVID-19
Charleston, SC, April 10, 2020 --( The overwhelming majority of consumers (85%) expect the COVID-19 outbreak to have an impact on society after it has passed, and a majority (69%) also say there will be an impact on how they personally conduct themselves day-to-day. But what sort of impact are they talking about?

Research was conducted among nearly 1,300 consumers across the US that yielded the following:

"Going Out" By "Staying In": Consumers will change the way they approach conventionally social activities such as shopping, dining out, attending large gatherings, and travel, which are expected to accelerate the trend towards remote/tele-participation, online shopping/home delivery, and a lingering distrust of large gatherings.

But what are the wider implications of these findings for the companies and brands seeking to thrive in the coming months? Here are some potential implications:
Marketing to “coronavirus consciousness” consumers requires a shift in tone or message.

Focusing on the benefits of two-dimensional (seeing and hearing others) vs. three dimensional (in-person) benefits will mean many brands that rely on in-person interaction will have to communicate creatively post the crisis.

Peloton comes to mind for many as a brand already doing this well. There are others of course as well.

“The cautious mindset that is becoming the new norm today may be driven as much by visceral emotion as by rational thought. These emotional overtones could mark a significant - and possibly lasting - shift in how some consumers feel about their lives and the world around them. Tapping into this new emotional posture may be essential for marketers looking to connect with consumers in the months and years ahead,” said Rob Pascale, President MAi and Chief Research Officer, Pathfinder Analytics.

Consumers anticipate a transition period rather than a quick return to normal - and the transition could take a long time.

A vast majority of consumers foresee long-term social impacts even after the threat of the virus has receded which suggests that these new attitudes could linger for some time, though for how long is anyone’s guess.

It makes sense, though, that the longer the current crisis goes on, the greater its impact on the “new normal” that follows.

So if March felt like it lasted a year, how much will people’s perceptions shift if this goes on for another two or four or six months? As one consumer interviewed put it:

“The longer this pandemic lasts and affects our daily lives, the more we are likely to change how we work, shop and live our lives in the future. The bigger this crisis is, the more likely it will have lasting impact.”

For more information about this topic, please contact Robert Clark by calling (908) 303-9832, or e-mail Bob at

MAi Research provides custom market research and insights. Pathfinder Analytics is a wholly owned division of MAi Research. The company is based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Contact: Robert Clark
Telephone: 908-303-9832
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Robert Clark

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