Changes to family life 

Nearly two out of three parents in the U.S. are barring their children from playing with children who don’t live with them, according to the IPREX Parent Normal survey, fielded by Marketing for Change Co. The study looked to understand the new normal family life emerging from the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost two out of three (64%) parents report that they are eating and watching entertainment together more as a family than before the coronavirus. Fifty-seven percent are cooking at home together more, and 52 percent are playing board games together more. The average screen time has also increased, with parents reporting their children spending an average of 5.1 hours on screens, compared to 3.7 hours on an average Friday before the coronavirus. Forty-three percent of this increase for all ages was in distance learning and academics. Parent screen time is also on the rise – 58% of parents report spending more time on computers and smartphones.

The research was conducted April 1-8, 2020.

Europeans utilizing tech

GfK retail sales figures from March 9 – April 5, 2020, show how Europeans’ tech buying behavior has changed in response to the pandemic. Working at home has driven up sales of monitors (+120%), printers (+68%), laptops (+62%) and keyboards (+61%) in five major European markets. Webcams have seen the largest sales growth peak at +297%.

As the desire for at-home entertainment has increased, sales of media sticks and boxes rose by +50% in some markets. In Great Britain, sales of TVs rose 31%. Gaming consoles also benefitted, with sales units up +259% in Great Britain, +130% in Germany, +132% in France, +108% in Spain and +65% in Italy. Gaming laptops also profited from the play-at-home trend and achieved a robust double-digit growth during the same period, ranging between 33% (Italy) and 92% (Spain). In Germany, France and Spain the gaming laptops outperformed the non-gaming ones in terms of unit growth rates.

The research was conducted from March 9 – April 5, 2020. Read more.

Partners spending more time together

Relationships are benefitting as partners spend more time together, according to data from The Knot x Lasting State of Relationships Report, which surveyed over 1,200 engaged and married couples. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed are spending more time with their partner. Sixty-six percent of engaged users report that their relationship has strengthened, compared to 56% of married couples who report feeling the same way.

With 73% of newly engaged or married couples feeling anxious right now, and 62% reporting feeling stressed and 50% feeling overwhelmed, it is unsurprising that more time together may also mean more disagreements. Forty percent of married respondents report they’ve experienced an increase in small arguments since quarantining together, compared to 20% of recently engaged or newly married couples. Nearly half of all respondents report focusing on talking about finances and money.

 Read more.

More concern among MRXers

The Insights Association polled its members to learn what effect the pandemic is having on the insights industry. Concern levels remain high among respondents, with 77% reporting that they’re somewhat/very concerned. Thirty-four percent of data collection agencies report that more than 20% of their work has been cancelled, and 44% report that more than 20% of their work has been postponed. Full-service agencies have faced fewer cancellations, with 15% reporting more than 20% of work being cancelled; however, 48% of this group has reported more than 20% of work being postponed, up from 41% in Wave 1. The vast majority of both data collection and full-service agencies have seen even more decline in their sales pipeline – 84% of full-service agencies and 83% of data collectors report pipeline declines (up from 76% and 72%, respectively, from Wave 1).

Corporate members are now feeling the impact more than they were in Wave 1, with 13% reporting more than 20% of their work has been cancelled, up from 7% in Wave 1. Fifty-seven percent of corporate members report some or large declines in the number of planned studies, compared to 32% in Wave 1. At the same time, 29% (compared to 7% in Wave 1) have seen growth in the number of planned studies.

Wave 1 of the research was conducted March 18-19, 2020. Read more. The second wave of the research was conducted on April 6-7, 2020. Read more.

Seniors navigate new normal

Smarty Pants surveyed U.S. men and women ages 65 and older to better understand their perspectives on the pandemic. While this group is more at risk during this health and economic crisis, they are less stressed about COVID-19 than their younger counterparts. Overall, 32% of seniors say their stress levels are low or very low – nearly twice the number of young singles who feel that same way (17%). Only 6% report experiencing very high levels of stress.

Two out of three seniors say they have had a major event or occasion disrupted by the coronavirus. Most report missing their children, and especially, their grandchildren, while some seniors report enjoying more time with their spouses. 

The research was conducted April 6-9, 2020.

Activities in lockdown

Research from Streetbees examines behavior among Brits both before and after the nationwide lockdown issued on March 23 in the U.K. The top activity on the rise since Brits have been sheltering in place is cooking at home, with closed restaurants and few delivery options available. Brits are also watching more TV and movies – in fact, Netflix’s Tiger King was the most popular title in the U.K. for over a week. In lieu of in-person social engagements, consumers are turning to the internet and social media. They’re also exercising more at home, mirroring the 21% reduction in outdoor exercise. Lastly, with possibilities to socialize outside the home being very limited, Brits are finding more ways to socialize at home. While this works well for group living situations, it isn’t so easy for people living alone, 18% of whom felt lonely within the first week of lockdown, compared to 4% for the rest of the population.

The research covers data up to and inclusive of April 14, 2020.

Changing work behaviors

A study from GlobalWebIndex surveyed U.S. (2,001) and U.K. (1,591) consumers to learn how work life has changed because of the pandemic. In the U.K., 33% of respondents say their organizations have furloughed staff, while 9% report their organizations have laid off workers. The number of reported organizations furloughing staff is lower in the U.S. (20%), but organizations laying off workers are higher (15%).

Just over half of current employees in the U.K. and U.S. report that the company they work for is equipped for a fully remote workforce, with just under a quarter saying it’s very well equipped. Senior employees and management (65%) are much more likely to believe their company is equipped for remote working than junior workers (45%). Logistical issues have arisen for most remote employees with 91% in the U.S. and 77% in the U.K. reporting this. For remote workers in the U.S., the biggest concerns for working at home are taking phone calls with other people around (35%) and maintaining security standards (32%), while those in the U.K. report that they have the most trouble with their physical setup at home (31%).

The research was conducted April 8-14, 2020. Read more.

Theatergoers aren’t ready for reopening

Shugoll Research conducted an online survey with 2,762 theatergoers in Washington, D.C., on their intent to return to the theater when it reopens after the pandemic. Only 31% say they are very likely to return immediately, while 21% are very unlikely. Around half (49%) suggest they will probably wait a few months or more before returning while only 25% think they will attend right away.

Because of the pandemic, more theatergoers say they will attend the theater less often now (27%) than more often (13%). However, frequent moviegoers are more likely to be willing to attend immediately (41%), although this still represents a minority of frequent theater attenders.

The research was conducted April 8-9, 2020. Read more.

Americans are taking out the oven mitts

According to a study by Hunter, 54% of Americans are cooking more at home now than they did before the pandemic, while another 46% are baking more. The study, which polled 1,005 U.S. adults, shows that 35% of respondents are enjoying cooking more than ever, and of those who are cooking more often now, 51% will continue to do so.

While cooking, 61% of respondents look for simple solutions, 60% search for ways to use ingredients on hand, 47% look for ways to cook healthier and 45% seek inspiration to try new foods. While 39% say that they are eating healthier foods, 40% say they’re now eating more indulgent foods.

The research was conducted on April 2, 2020. Read more.

Consumer preferences shifting online

MomentFeed conducted a survey among 1,000 U.S. consumers to learn how consumer preferences have shifted online during the COVID-19 crisis. Eighty-two percent of consumers are visiting online business during the pandemic, and 34% are visiting more than before the crisis. In contrast, only 45% of consumers are visiting brick and mortar businesses. Of those that are visiting, more than half say they are visiting less frequently than before COVID-19.

Grocery stores are getting the most traffic, with 82% of consumers still frequenting businesses in this category. Sixty-two percent said they visit banks, while half of all survey respondents say they are still visiting quick-serve restaurants and 35% say they are visiting dine-in restaurants.

The research was conducted March 25-26, 2020.