COVID-19 Analysis Part 1: Survey on Behavior Change

This is the first article in a series of Sense360 analyses on people's behavior during the COVID-19 crisis.

We recognize that many industries are being impacted by closures, travel limitations, event cancellations, employees working from home, or not being able to work at all. Everyone wants to safeguard their health and stop the spread of the virus, but people still need to work, eat, and travel outside their home.

The goal of this article series is to provide a reliable source of information to help you understand the changing U.S. landscape, serve and assist your customers, stabilize your business, and light a path forward as we emerge from this crisis and regain equilibrium.


Part 1: Sense360 COVID-19 Impacts Survey, March 9-15, 2020 (n=446)

We launched a survey on March 10th. Below are the initial survey results from last week. The situation is evolving rapidly, so while these results represented people's sentiments last week, they have undoubtedly changed since then. We are continuing to survey our panel and will release additional results as they develop.

Many people initially reported they only plan to make small changes to their habits over the next 30 days. However, with the WHO pandemic announcement on the 11th, among other significant cancellations, people woke up on Thursday morning, the 12th, with a dramatically altered outlook.


What behaviors do people plan to increase/decrease?

Consumers expect to make sharp increases in remote and delivery purchases. Meanwhile, in-person transactions show anticipated declines.cs1-



What behaviors will increase?

Attitudes began to shift in the second half of last week as the impacts of COVID-19 spread and more states acted. Working from home, online purchases and delivery all had considerably more mentions as the week progressed.




What behaviors will decrease?

The behaviors people anticipate decreasing did not change, but the number of people mentioning each grew later in the week.




Consumers plan to stock up

The share of consumers not planning to stock up dropped by 1/3 late last week as consumers turned their focus to purchasing household essentials, non-perishables and cold prevention items (i.e., hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray).




Magnitude of behavior change

Last week, people were still anticipating small to moderate changes in their routines; though that perception began to shift later in the week. Older persons and those with elderly at home expected the most significant changes.




How we will be monitoring the situation going forward:

Because of the quickly evolving situation, we will be releasing updates daily so you can best satisfy rapidly-evolving consumer needs.
  • We are continuing to survey people nationwide to gather ongoing insight into their planned behaviors moving forward. We will have updated survey results in the coming days.
  • We are examining our foot traffic data to gauge visitation and food consumption shifts across food service and retail.
  • We will explore the impact that this is having in specific markets.
  • We are investigating people’s lifestyle changes (time spent at home vs. work; distance people are willing to go beyond their residence; etc.).

How to stay informed

We will update the Sense360 blog with our survey findings, foot traffic analyses, and more insights as they surface. If you have any questions about our methodology, please email us at

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