COVID-19 permanently changed certain consumers


Since the pandemic began, Sense360 By Medallia has been fielding daily surveys to the general U.S. population, and sharing our research via our webinar series. Now, with over a year's worth of data, the surveys have uncovered significant changes in the sentiment and behavior of U.S. consumers.

The population's fear level is abating

COVID-19 fear is still prevalent, but is declining. As the number of new coronavirus cases continues to decline, the percent of respondents who agree the virus is ‘an even bigger threat’ (23%) is at a low point in the history of Sense360’s reporting over the last year.  



People see an end in sight

People are gradually beginning to see an end in sight. The percent of respondents who believe it will still be 6+ months before things will “return to normal” is still as high as 25%, but is shrinking compared to the Fall / Winter 2020 high points of almost 60%.



COVID-19 changed some consumers permanently

Just as COVID-19 will likely always be here at a low level in the population, the proportion of consumers who retain some level of fear or caution about the virus may well be here to stay. 

As the survey results above show, despite the fact that the U.S. has generally reopened, there remains a proportion of people (23%) who feel that the virus is an even bigger threat than most people realize. 

Similarly, a proportion of people will retain certain behaviors that they have picked up in response to the pandemic. For instance, of people who currently use grocery delivery / curbside pickup, 32% of them plan to continue doing so even though it's safe to shop in-store again.

grocery survey 2021


The implication for market researchers

COVID-19 likely changed some consumers forever. Their ongoing perceptions and behaviors may continue to be affected, so businesses should consider factoring COVID-related qualities into their customer profiling and segmentation. Attributes like working remotely, vaccination status, fear level, and even political affiliation may yield distinct differences in behavior from one consumer segment to another. 

Sense360 By Medallia offers a robust approach to consumer segmentation that takes into account not only demographics and psychographics from survey data, but behavioral insights from foot traffic and transaction data.

  • We combine behavioral and survey data from millions of panelists and develop custom segments that align with the way you think about your customers.
  • Shifts in population and market are tracked in real-time, so you can keep your finger on the pulse of your market even as the world changes rapidly.
  • This data can be cut by region, state, DMA, day of week, daypart, and many more cuts.
Contact us if you'd like to learn more about our insights solutions. And to stay up-to-date on our latest research, register for our next webinar.