California became the first state to issue a stay-at-home order on March 19. All 50 states have since issued social distancing guidelines, with consumers everywhere wondering when the mandates will be lifted, when the economy will reopen and whether it will be possible to resume living their pre-COVID-19 lives.
But regardless of their states of residence, consumers’ lives had already changed dramatically since the pandemic was first announced. PYMNTS research shows that the employment rate had dropped from 63 percent to 40.9 percent by April 11, while 29.9 percent of those who were still employed had seen their wages been cut.
All the while, consumers were taking active measures to shop for both essential and non-essential items less often than they did before they went into life on lockdown. Our research showed that 51.1 percent of consumers were shopping for leisure less often by April 11 than they were before the pandemic, while 59 percent were shopping for groceries less often than they had before.
Such sudden and dramatic changes show no signs of abating, either, with the average consumer now expecting the pandemic to last until at least October.
The question is, what will life look like once the pandemic is over? Will the economy snap back quickly? Will consumers continue to work and shop online as they had before, or will they stick to the routines they had developed during lockdown?
These are just a few of the questions PYMNTS set out to answer in Navigating The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Post-Pandemic Reset edition. We surveyed 2,277 U.S. consumers about how they had altered their daily routines since the pandemic began and how they intend to behave once social distancing is over to gain a glimpse at what the world might look once the risk of contagion has subsided and stay-at-home orders have been lifted.
Our research shows that there is no guarantee that life will go back to the way it was before, even after the pandemic has passed. Only 47.9 percent of all consumers plan to resume the activities they used to do outside their homes, while another 32.1 percent say they plan to do far less outside the home than they had done before.
So, in which areas of life will consumers be the slowest to change? Will they go back to work before they begin to shop in stores as they used to, or will they be more likely to revert to their previous grocery shopping schedules first? Navigating The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Post-Pandemic Reset edition explores the answers to these questions and much more.
To learn more about how consumers envision their lives post-COVID-19, download the report.