Tracking COVID-19's ongoing impact on retail, CPG, tech and other industries

21 April 2020 | 4 min read | Written by Kelvin Claveria

The human and business impact of COVID-19 is both substantial and devastating so far. The pandemic has resulted in so much fear and uncertainty, profoundly changing the way people think, feel and act.

Not surprisingly, companies from all industries are grappling to keep up with rapidly evolving consumer sentiment. With social distancing disrupting people's day-to-day lives, CEOs and senior marketers are struggling to understand how people's shifting emotions and attitudes influence behaviors. What do these changes mean to your business in the short-term and the long-term? How can you prepare and plan for the new normal in an environment that is anything but?

To help CEOs and senior marketers answer these questions, Rival Technologies and Reach3 Insights recently launched a complimentary market research program that aims to illuminate the human side of the COVID-19 pandemic. Called Consumer Closeness in the Age of Social Distancing, the program combines Rival's messaging-based technology with Reach3's immersive research approaches to engage an insight community of Americans and Canadians and capture both quantitative and qualitative data on COVID-19's impact. 

We are providing weekly reports to our clients, partners and content subscribers, 

We'll update this blog post regularly to share some key takeaways from this program. 

April 21: COVID-19 is creating a long-lasting New Normal

As stay-at-home orders remain in place, many consumers are starting to adjust to their day-to-day lives.

We found that 86% of Americans and 81% of Canadians think the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on society, forever changing how people work, shop and connect with their loved ones.


In addition, many people are thinking about how their behaviors will evolve going forward as a result of what they’ve learned from their experience so far.

April 14: COVID-19's impact on consumer finances

Between April 3 to 6, hundreds of American and Canadian consumers answered a conversational chat survey to share how the coronavirus crisis is affecting their income and spending. A great majority reported having major concerns about both their personal finances and the economy.

Key takeaways include:
- In the US, 62% have changed their spending, while in Canada, 72% report managing their finances differently these days
- 52% of American consumers reported experiencing at least some loss of income; in Canada 57% reported the same thing

This week, we also asked our insight community how they feel about participating in market research activities during COVID-19.



April 9, 2020: COVID-19's impact on the retail industry

A study we conducted March 27 to 30 found significant shifts in people's eating and grocery shopping habits in the US:

  • 52% have changed their eating habits recently to cope with physical distancing and other consequences of the pandemic
  • 36% of Americans report that they plan to continue to use new brands they’ve tried after COVID-19
  • 45% of Americans are doing more online grocery shopping

In addition, Walmart is the top grocery shopping destination—both online and offline. Check out our press release to learn more

Rival tech - top-online-stores-us-01

April 2: American and Canadian consumers report improving moods as people find new ways of getting busy. 

Rival tech - America Current Mood (1)


March 27: Fans share their predictions on the future of sports in the US and Canada after COVID-19

  • In the US, 7% of consumers said they are watching sports to get their mind off of things
  • Football, baseball and basketball got the most mentions from American fans when asked which sports they think would bounce back quickly after the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Click here to download the US sports infographic
  • In Canada, only 2% report watching sports to pass time and only 1% said they are playing sports during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Hockey, baseball and football got the most mentions from Canadian fans when asked which sports they think would bounce back quickly after the coronavirus
  • Click here to download the Canada sports infographic

March 27: 48% of Americans report using streaming services more amid the coronavirus lockdown 



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Written by Kelvin Claveria

Kelvin Claveria (@kcclaveria) is Director of Demand Generation at Rival Technologies.

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