Like virtually every other facet of American life, the global economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak has had a remarkable impact on consumer purchasing behaviors and will also undoubtedly affect how brands connect with audiences henceforth.


According to a recent survey released by San Francisco-based tech firm Bospar, 86 percent of Americans report that COVID-19 has changed their consumer buying habits. Specifically, more than a third (35 percent) said the pandemic has influenced them to buy only essential goods. Nearly a third (30 percent) said it had made them more concerned about price (30 percent) and has left them being more selective about purchases (30 percent).

The survey also discovered that, in light of the pandemic, a majority of Americans (81 percent) said they now want companies to do more to earn their personal business. The initiatives respondents are most eager to see companies implement include helping the health workers fighting COVID-19 (49 percent), helping essential workers such as grocery employees (45 percent) and hiring a diverse workforce (34 percent). Nearly a third of respondents (30 percent) additionally said they want companies to make a statement—with accompanying actions— supporting Black Lives Matter and more than a quarter (26 percent) want companies to invest in corporate social responsibility programs.

More than three-quarter of those polled (78 percent) reported that COVID-19 has impacted them, leaving them more fearful (33 percent), working fewer hours (24 percent) or unemployed (16 percent). Five percent of respondents said they lost a family member to COVID-19 and three percent said they contracted the virus personally. Only eight percent said the pandemic has changed how they plan to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

Research for Bospar’s study was conducted by market research company Propeller Insights and polled more than 1,000 American adults online in June.