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The Impact of the COVID-19 on Consumer Behavior in Australia

Richard O'sullivan
Richard O'sullivan
5 min read
Posted on April 16, 2020
The Impact of the COVID-19 on Consumer Behavior in Australia

The rampant spread of COVID-19 has certainly changed the lifestyles of people across the world. At InMobi we’re able to give you near real-time insights on changing consumer behavior during the COVID-19 crisis from our 2nd party data (via our Audience Intelligence Platform). The analysis reveals the following trends derived through data signals captured by InMobi Location polygons, of which we have 87,000 across Australia:

  1. The customer footfalls in various places of interest
  2. Changes in the app usage across different categories


Safety Becomes a Priority Leading to Decline in Footfall

With people practicing social distancing, there is a drastic decline in footfall across places of interest. Recreation areas like shopping centers, beauty salons, hotels and motels have experienced a significant reduction in visits.

Shopping Centers

Shopping centers saw a steady decline with the first few coronavirus cases coming to light in January. The curve flattens a bit in February while people resort to social distancing and with newer cases surfacing in the beginning of March, footfall hits rock bottom, constituting an overall decline of 48% in shopping center visits.


While Shopping Centers witnessed decline in footfall, the supermarket visits stabilized with everyone trying to stock up kitchen supplies due to fear of a possible lockdown.

Beauty Salons

Beauty Salons saw a steady decline of 47% from the first outbreak of reported cases of the pandemic from the last week in January. And there were two instances that experiences a sharp rise in visits to beauty salons, the first one during the last week of January and the second around Valentine’s Day.

Hotels and Motels

When new cases were reported on February 20, the hotel industry experienced a significant decrease in footfall by 41% across major cities in Australia.

Health and Fitness Moves Outside Amidst the Pandemic

Fitness centers project the same pattern of decline as in the case of shopping centers with a steady decline when COVID-19 cases were first reported in January, then stabilized with social distancing in February, only to see a sharp fall in the beginning of March. As people complied with social distancing and reduced/ limited community gatherings & highly crowded places gyms and fitness centers then experienced 40% decrease in footfalls.

Consumption of In-App Content Experiences Rapid Growth Amid New Habit Formation

With people sheltering at home during the isolation period, they turned to their mobile phone for entertainment and engagement. This led to a steep increase in the usage of mobile apps across the country.

Collaboration apps saw a whopping 300% growth in usage since the initial news broke out towards the end of January. Arcade, strategy and Trivia Gaming apps experienced a 73% growth. Travel apps growth shoots up to 88% with people trying to get information on their flight status and rescheduling their travel plans. Towards March, the traffic on travel apps then decreased as many stayed at home.

News apps, by contrast, were reporting live on the status of the pandemic and saw a 250% growth in usage as people tried to stay current on live and relevant information about the virus and spread of the disease. As social distancing became the new norm, video and image editor apps witnessed a 53% growth, as people utilized high dwell time to engage with the apps. Social apps accounted for a 100% growth, with community and dating apps contributing to the surge with a sense of shared unity in the face of the same problem.

At InMobi, we’re focused on driving invaluable insights from near real-time data signals that can inform on the significant impact taking place on consumer behavior that could yet become the new norm for Advertisers and Agencies to adapt to as habits potentially become ingrained #InThisTogether.

Follow this link to read the full report on reactions of consumers to the pandemic in Australia. Read on to know how the connected consumer reacts to the pandemic in India. For more insights, check out our InMobi Global COVID-19 page

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