COVID-19 Pandemic Taking Toll on Financial & Mental Health of Shoppers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, shoppers are far more cautious than optimistic about the future, as the global health crisis takes a financial and mental toll.

According to Acosta's eighth insight report on the continuing evolution of consumer behavior and outlook amid the coronavirus pandemic, 64 percent of shoppers are looking ahead with caution and nearly a quarter (24 percent) are looking ahead with optimism.

The recession is also adding stress for many shoppers. Thirty-seven percent said they are worse off financially than they were pre-pandemic, including 9 percent who said they are "much" worse off. Millennials are the hardest-hit generation, with 43 percent expressing this sentiment.

When it comes to shopping trips, survey respondents are prioritizing product availability (53 percent), social distancing (48 percent), low prices (45 percent), customer safety (43 percent) and availability of promotions/deals (29 percent) post-pandemic.

"As the pandemic stretches on, we see the toll it has taken on shoppers financially. Millennials have been hit the hardest, with 43 percent of shoppers worse off than they were before the outbreak," said Darian Pickett, CEO of Acosta. "A recession is here and will significantly impact the shopping habits of those affected. Low prices and promotions will be among the most important priorities for consumers post-COVID-19, though product availability remains their top concern."

Other findings from Acosta include:

  • Many shoppers have found time for more relaxation (53 percent) and more sleep (40 percent) during the pandemic.
  • Fitness and nutrition have posed more of a challenge, with 37 percent of shoppers exercising less and 33 percent eating less healthy than before.
  • Thirty-two percent of shoppers reported consuming more vitamins and supplements, while 21 percent are eating more natural, organic or vegetarian foods.

Acosta's eighth round of COVID-19 research was gathered via online surveys conducted between June 12-17. The full report can be accessed here.

Based in Jacksonville, Acosta provides a range of outsourced sales, marketing and retail merchandising services throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.