How Coronavirus is Impacting Customer Behavior

Over two weeks, poll data showed a 105% increase in people saying they have altered their day-to-day routine due to coronavirus concerns.

Over two weeks, survey data showed a 105% increase in people saying they have altered their day-to-day routine due to coronavirus concerns.

Just how much COVID-19 will impact the economy and business in America is essentially unpredictable, but what we do know is that it won’t look too good as the storm peaks and passes in the States.

What one-stop-shops like convenience stores, drugstores and gas stations need to know is that Americans are rapidly changing their daily routines out of concern for the virus. In two weeks, CivicScience data showed a 105% increase in people saying they have altered their day-to-day. And in one week, the amount of people who said they are leaving their house less increased by 90%.

civic science

CivicScience data shows all consumers are increasingly worried about being in public spaces. While the Midwest overall shows the least amount of concern at this time (although still high), the week-over-week data for the Midwest shows the greatest spike in people fearing public spaces, jumping from 61% to 67%.

That’s why we are seeing consumers stockpiling before settling into possible isolation mode. People who said they are making purchase decisions based on the spread of coronavirus shot up from 14% to 30% in three weeks. Between March 3 and March 8 alone, 11% of adults said they have stocked up on groceries and 18% planned to.

Where concerned consumers chose to shop explains a lot of the empty shelves at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Costco. These shoppers are the most likely to express high levels of concern over the potential coronavirus epidemic, while adults who do the majority of their grocery shopping at convenience stores and other small-scale locations showed the lowest levels of concern.

civic science graph


Depending on region, some shops have already seen dips in foot traffic and sales, while others have seen increases due to consumer stockpiling. Regardless, each region may hit the phase where streets are deserted and stores are mostly empty.

CivicScience is a consumer market intelligence firm that conducts large, Census-representative surveys of U.S. teens and adults through polling applications embedded in the content of a vast, demographically and geographically diverse network of partner websites.

Emily Goodwin, Director of Content & Media Relations, leads the ideation and production process for all CivicScience’s online content. For more on our COVID-19 coverage:

This article originally appeared in CStoreDecisions. Photo by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash.

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