Research on the Coronavirus Impact from the Global Web Index

All stats listed below are from a GlobalWebIndex March 2020 custom recontact survey among 1,004 (Australia), 1,001 (Brazil), 1,003 (China), 1,016 (France), 1,010 (Germany), 1,010 (Italy), 1,079 (Japan), 1,008 (Philippines), 1,008 (Singapore), 573 (South Africa), 1,005 (Spain), 1,040 (UK) and 1,088 (USA) internet users aged 16-64.

KEY FINDINGS:

  1. Streaming services on the rise: Across the 13 markets surveyed, over 50% are watching more streaming services, 45% are spending more time on messaging services, almost 45% are devoting more time to social media, and over 10% say they are creating / uploading videos. Age is a strong influencer here across the board; almost 50% of boomers aren’t interested in any live streaming, compared to around 20% of Gen Zs and millennials.

  2. Social media trends: Users of different services hold broadly similar views about what social media should be doing. However, if we look at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WeChat, YouTube and Snapchat, then it’s Snap chatters who are most likely to want live streams and to have connections with neighbors / local communities. Meanwhile, WeChatters are most vocal about wanting fact-checked content and the filtering of fake news. 

  3. Location can make a big difference here: over three quarters of urban respondents are spending more time on their smartphones, compared to just under half of rural consumers.

  4. Delaying purchases: Almost 40% say they will buy major purchases they have delayed only when the outbreak begins to decrease or is over in their country. But close to 20% say they will wait until the outbreak decreases or is over globally.

  5. Advertising as usual. Yes or no? Although Gen Zs (38% agree), males (39%) and the higher income group (39%) are the most likely to agree that advertising should continue as normal, the more striking trend here is the consistency of views by demographics. 

  6. Delaying larger purchases:  Almost 40% say they will buy major purchases they have delayed only when the outbreak begins to decrease or is over in their country. But close to 20% say they will wait until the outbreak decreases or is over globally.

  7. Adjust payment terms: Globally, people are most in favor of brands responding to the outbreak by providing flexible payment terms (83%), offering free services (81%), closing non-essential stores (79%) and helping to produce essential supplies (67%). All of these score significantly more than the 37% who think they should carry on advertising as normal.

  8. Concern over personal finances: By generation, boomers see a 56-point gap here: 30% expect it to have a big / dramatic impact on their personal finances, whereas 86% think it will have a big / dramatic impact on their country’s economy. The higher income group (43-point gap) are ahead of the lower income group (35-point gap).


CONCLUSIONS:

Because a quarter of the population agrees that advertising should continue as normal, brands may want to start or increase the use of livestream on their platform of choice and add Snapchat if they are not present there yet, as this is what the majority of the population wants.

Because over three quarters of consumers spend more time on their smartphones, businesses may want to use social media paid advertising to increase visibility on their products and services and grow brand awareness as they will be remembered when consumers are ready to push the BUY button again.

Because people are concerned over their personal finances, it would be a good idea to offer flexible payment terms or free services to clients and prospects as it could be a way to grow brand loyalty and build new long-term relationships.

There is no better time than now to be seen in all areas of the web, because it is where everyone is, desperately seeking information and looking for the next big thing, on their computer or their cell phone. After all, timing is everything!

To your safety always, Catherine


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