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COVID-19

Roadmap to Recovery: Consumer Confidence

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Andrew McCormack, Research Executive

by Andrew McCormack, Research Executive

Core Research

After a challenging Spring for society and business, the Summer months have provided relief for some, but uncertainty for others.

Core Research continues to track consumer behaviour and sentiment to provide a clear understanding of consumer demand and expectations.

This report is primarily informed by research conducted in late July and early August and the evidence suggests that much of the population were very conscious about the spread of the virus as a result of the good and bad behaviour of people and businesses.

While there has been a high level of compliance with restrictions since March, this report highlights how there is a growth in uncertainty about how to navigate various aspects of a COVID world and as a result may be dampening consumer confidence.

 

 

Our previous research has indicated that the public would have had a high level of confidence to return to various business and societal areas during these weeks, but this was subject to communicating clear instructions, managing expectations and the adherence to strict health guidelines.

The growth of uncertainty and concern is a result of a number of areas where information or clarity is lacking.

As we publish this report, further restrictions are being introduced or re-introduced by the Government. With much debate about the rationale or targeting of these restrictions, we anticipate that consumer concerns will remain high. This does not mean people will be paralysed, but instead will try to figure out the best approach to various aspects of their life.

According to the CSO’s latest Business Impact report, 46.8% of Irish businesses are concerned about a ‘reduced demand due to lower consumer confidence.’
People do have confidence to engage with brands and business, but now have high expectations – clear communications, adherence to safety guidelines and empathetic offerings.

The same report highlights the number one concern (64% of business) is ‘an increase of COVID-19 cases leading to another lockdown,’ which is the same concern for the general public.

Most people are seeking out familiarity in safe ways, not a “back to normal,” and expect businesses to be realistic about their offering and customer experience.

This research report highlights how September is a tipping point moment where we can convert uncertainty into optimism and ease concern by incentivising good practice.

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