• Consumer Research
  • Understanding Consumers

How the Coronavirus is Affecting Consumer Behavior in the U.S. [New Report]

Team InMobi
7 min read
Posted on July 22, 2020

For a close look at how the coronavirus is affecting consumer behavior in the United States, InMobi has been conducting research on COVID-19 consumers since March, when the coronavirus pandemic first began severely impacting Americans. Now, all of our research is available to you in our latest report on U.S. COVID-19 Consumer Insights. Download it today to see how adults in the U.S. are really reacting during these times of uncertainty and social distancing. 

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Download this report today to learn:  

  • How sectors such as mobile gaming, quick-service restaurants, video streaming, and grocery shopping have all fared during the pandemic.  
  • Which apps people downloaded post-COVID, and who these new app installers are.  
  • How brands can reach consumers at home.  
  • What’s next on the horizon for mobile usage in the U.S. 

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Sneak Peek of Our Latest COVID-19 Pandemic Report 

Curious to see what this report has to offer? Here’s a free look at three of the chapters: 

Introduction 

Some days, it’s hard to remember what life was like before COVID-19 upended everything. Although most shelter-in-place orders in the U.S. largely weren’t instituted until March, these guidelines quickly and dramatically impacted consumer behavior. Some parts of the country will have been largely stuck in their homes for well over four to five months (or more) by the time this is all said and done. 

Even though the reaction to COVID-19 has varied across the nation, the virus has impacted just about every industry imaginable. With the economy significantly affected and with consumers replacing in-person purchases with online interactions, COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders have touched every corner of our lives and livelihoods. 

How specifically has COVID-19 impacted various business sectors? That’s what we here at InMobi wanted to find out. By looking at diverse data sources, primarily mobile surveys and first-party telco data, we can see how consumers today are now entertaining themselves, shopping, eating, communicating and more. 

How to Reach Consumers at Home 

As marketers, how can we reach and engage our audiences while they’re stuck at home? Many leading brands have long relied on traditional tactics like out-of-home billboards, sporting event sponsorships, live TV advertising and other forms of marketing that no longer suffice during the pandemic. 

So what can marketers do to pivot? How can marketers reach their target audiences today? 

The key is to use data to appropriately find and reach consumers in ways that matter now. It’s possible to use knowledge of existing audience segments and then map them to the apps and other digital services they’re now using with greater frequency. 

For example, let’s say a major movie studio wanted to promote a new film being released on streaming platforms. To promote the new picture, the studio could look at what apps former movie theater visitors are now using and then show ads promoting the movie in those app properties. Alternatively, other audience segments like cord-cutters and entertainment enthusiasts would also likely be receptive to ads about the upcoming online movie release. 

This is far from the only application of this kind of logic, of course. A grocery delivery app would benefit from reaching people who normally visited the grocery store once a week, along with other key audience segments like foodies and home chefs. Similarly, teleconferencing apps may benefit from reaching both commuters and people who used to go to bars and nightclubs to socialize. 

Other more basic demographic information can prove useful as well. If a brand knows the typical age and gender of their best customers, then they can look to target people of the same age and gender who are not yet customers. 

Of course, the devil is in the details. To do this kind of targeting, brands either need someone who already has highly accurate audience insights and/or can help them make their data actionable. This is no easy task, and it can be especially tricky today. 

Predicting What’s Next 

At some point in the future, the threat (both direct and indirect) posed by COVID-19 will disappear and we can all go back to our lives as they were before. 

Of course, exactly when this will happen and how we’ll feel when it does is anyone’s guess. It’s hard to say which trends and observations seen today will continue for the foreseeable future, even after the virus subsides. 

But it does appear as though that certain mobile-first behaviors that were growing in popularity before 2020 will continue to be popular once the pandemic ends. Mobile gaming, grocery delivery apps and streaming video on demand have all been popular even when the novel coronavirus wasn’t wreaking global havoc. With everyone stuck at home with limited options for entertainment and meals, these kinds of apps have ballooned in popularity. As consumers begin to better understand the convenience and benefits of these apps, expect these kinds of services and solutions to be well-liked and frequently used in 2021 and beyond. 

No one knows how this all will end and what will come of it. But it’s a safe bet to say that mobile apps will continue to play a central role in just about everything we do in the months and years ahead. 

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Like What You’ve Been Reading on the COVID-19 Outbreak? 

There’s a lot more where this came from! Be sure to download your complimentary copy of InMobi’s U.S. COVID-19 Consumer Insights report today for more data and insights on how the pandemic has impacted online shopping, supply chains, food ordering habits, mobile’s role in retail online orders and a whole lot more. 

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Looking for COVID-19 insights from across the globe? Head to inmobi.com/covid-19 to see how coronavirus has impacted consumer behavior in the Middle East, India, Australia, Indonesia and other parts of the world. 

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