Survey reveals key driver for customers during COVID-19

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Survey reveals key driver for customers during COVID-19

By Dan Berthiaume - 06/24/2020

Consumers have an appetite to shop despite the pandemic, but one particular marketing tactic feeds it.

According to a new survey of 1,000 consumers from marketing technology and consumer engagement firm Valassis, 36% of respondents have made an impulse purchase based on an advertisement since the pandemic began, and 65% of consumers said they’ll make an unplanned purchase just to treat themselves in the next month.

Other results indicate advertising and promotional efforts are critical to driving purchases as COVID-19 continues. More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents enjoy discovering new products based on deals they receive from brands. Fifty-three percent have tried a new grocery store, 52% have tried a new restaurant and 49% have tried a new retailer since the pandemic began. Across all three categories, the biggest driver for trying a new establishment was an offer, discount or deal.

In addition, 46% are paying more attention to advertisements offering promotions and deals now compared to before the pandemic began, with 18- to 24-year-olds (52%) and 25- to 34-year-olds (50%) even more closely tuned in. When asked what has influenced them to make a purchase since the pandemic began, 22% of respondents said social media, including 41% of 18-24-year-olds and 34% of 25- to 34-year-olds noting this.

Compared to a survey Valassis conducted in mid-March, more consumers believe new shopping behaviors will become a part of their routine in the future. In retail, 19% of respondents will use buy online, pick-up in-store options more often (versus 10% in March). When it comes to restaurant purchases, 29% believe they’ll choose to carry-out from restaurants more often (versus 20% in March). Additionally, 23% of respondents will use restaurant delivery more often moving forward (versus 18% in March). This number spikes to 36% among younger consumers ages 25-34. Interestingly, digital online advertisements and offers received in the mail had about the same level of influence on purchases, at 22% and 23% respectively, reinforcing the need for an omnichannel approach.

About two-thirds (65%) of respondents are looking forward to shopping summer sales and promotions. These respondents plan to shop online (26%), in-store (19%) or both (20%) for summer sales and promotions.