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Alex Palermo, Vice President

Over the past seven months, I’ve noticed an evolution in how my neighborhood mom and pop shops are conducting business. So, it wasn’t surprising to receive a note from my daughter’s school the other day indicating that student picture day would be conducted entirely online this year. The local photography studio made sure to let me know that this would be the first year that they would be doing away with the traditional paper order forms, that “many of us prefer.”

Kat Figatner, Senior Vice President

On March 11 and 12, 2020, I had typical days as a qualitative moderator. One day, I assisted a colleague who was conducting research with consumers to test a new haircare device; the next, I was moderating groups for a clothing brand where respondents tried on various outerwear styles. COVID-19 was high on everyone’s minds (professional sports were just suspended; Tom Hanks announced he had it), but it was mostly business as usual.

Mary McIlrath, Senior Vice President

So, shopping has been crazy for families this year, trying to stay on top of having enough hand sanitizer and snacks. Back to School season was so strange that we wrote three blogs about it—and it all started with Amazon Prime Days being postponed indefinitely in July.

Let’s all take a deep breath together (seriously…one, two, three, in, and exhale), and buckle up for holiday shopping for families in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consumer Costs of COVID-19

If you’ve noticed higher prices at the checkout aisle since COVID-19, you’re not alone. Americans across the country have been paying more for staples such as meat, eggs, and poultry as well as everyday household goods. Grocery prices skyrocketed beginning in March and still haven’t fallen to pre-pandemic levels. 

In order to find out how Americans have been adjusting to higher prices, we surveyed 2,040 consumers and asked them how COVID-19 has affected their budget, shopping habits and diets. 

Hillary Stifler, Vice President

On June 8, 2020, The New York Times published research with epidemiologists, predicting when they will feel personally comfortable with a range of everyday activities. This begged the question to us of how their attitudes and expectations would compare to the U.S. general population. Would the doctors be more conservative, or more ready to embrace some form of normal? We tapped our ongoing consumer surveys to find out. 

Mary McIlrath, Senior Vice President

At our parent company, C+R Research, we’ve been proactive in gauging consumer perspectives around the pandemic through our Consumer Connections series, The COVID-19 Chronicles. As part of this effort, our YouthBeat® team reached out to parents and youth with an add-on to our semiannual tracking survey. What we found was that compared to the general population, parents are particularly attuned to the stresses of the pandemic.

 Insights from the Consumer

My COVID-19 Chronicles: Insights from the Consumer Connections Community

To provide brands with an opportunity to connect with consumers, C+R hosted an online pop-up community as a part of our COVID-19 Chronicles Consumer Connections Series. For the community, participants from across the United States shared their stories in real-time over a two-week period. A portion of these consumers also participated in a digital ethnography, chronicling their lives, behaviors, and attitudes during the current environment with videos, pictures, and text. And, all of the consumer community participants completed daily diaries to track their emotional journeys.

Zoe Honeycutt, Qualitative Analytical Support Specialist

A few months ago—pre-COVID19—we highlighted three trends that we felt could have the biggest impact on consumer behavior and spending in 2020. Although the Coronavirus pandemic has since won that distinction, we wanted to revisit these trends—sustainability, Gen Z, and qualitative research—to examine how they are faring in the pandemic.

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