As US consumers emerge from lockdown, companies look to bridge the gap between today and the way forward
As daily life for Americans continues to evolve, some parts of the country are easing shelter-in-place restrictions, while others are extending lockdowns into the summer months. With some Americans able to return to stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, will people fall back into old habits? Or will skepticism and safety concerns persist, creating an entirely new reality for consumers and companies?
The EY Future Consumer Index (the Index) tracks comfort levels, priorities and concerns across the country, and in the varying levels of lockdown, to provide insight into how the world might look in the months and years to come.
The second edition of the Index shows that as consumers get back to some semblance of normalcy, many are still very uncomfortable engaging in their pre-pandemic activities. It suggests that trust may play a big factor in this mentality.
As more states relax restrictions, companies must think about how they can anticipate and meet the needs of consumers who likely will never return to the lifestyle we knew before COVID-19.
Despite uncertainty, consumers settle into new normal
The first wave of our Index data uncovered four distinct consumer segments emerging out of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the second set of data tracking how consumer behavior and sentiment are changing over time, an interesting reality emerged: those consumers who were most pessimistic about the pandemic may be settling into the current reality.
While two of the four current consumer segments stayed the same from month to month, the Cut deep segment shrunk from 23% to 19%, with those respondents moving into the less pessimistic Save and stockpile segment.