Consumers Gripped by Coronavirus Fears and Lack Faith in Government’s Ability to Handle the Outbreak

The market research team at Colling Media, a top-ranked national digital advertising and marketing agency, has conducted a consumer survey to understand consumer attitudes and perceptions about the coronavirus.

The survey, conducted March 9-10, 2020, canvased 500 adults 18+ from throughout the United States. The purpose of the study was to reveal how consumers are responding to the coronavirus and whether they truly understand how it is transmitted.

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Key findings of the study include:

  • 51.5% of consumers say they are worried about contracting the coronavirus.
  • 38.8% of Americans report cutting back on going to places like malls, banks, or restaurants.
  • 33.3% of respondents say they are spending more than they usually budget on such items as cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues, hand sanitizers, and water because of coronavirus concerns.
  • 18.4% of respondents have canceled travel plans due to the spread of the virus.
  • 63% believe that the media has exaggerated concerns about contracting the coronavirus.
  • 60% of respondents say they plan on avoiding large crowds such as those associated with sporting events, concerts, or political rallies because of coronavirus concerns.
  • 47.9% of respondents are “certain” that they understand how the coronavirus spreads; 44.6% are “somewhat certain,” and 7.5% are “uncertain.”
  • Among all respondents, 73.6% says they are closely following news about the coronavirus.

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“The coronavirus outbreak has gripped the nation and, as shown in our survey, it is already causing significant market disruption,” says Brian Colling, CEO of Colling Media. “But as with all problems, new opportunities have emerged. As an example, survey respondents say they are already cutting back on eating out, but the same restaurants may see a corresponding rise in food take-out or delivery. Similarly, brick-and-mortar in-store sales may fall, only to be replaced and perhaps exceeded by online sales.”

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