What is the online consumer like in COVID times?

online consumer during COVID times
«Citizens bet on their own benefit and that of those close to them.»

Google published in November 2020 a report called The Breakdown of the COVID Experience in which it analyses the behavior of the Spanish consumer in the global pandemic. The impact of the pandemic in Spain has triggered a certain state of uncertainty that has led citizens to remain expectant in the face of changes. This state, along with the multiple restrictions established by the Spanish Government, directly affects the emotional health of consumers.

According to the report, Spanish citizens have gone through four phases in their state of mind in the period from March to October: sadness, resignation, bewilderment and frustration. The current search results show that the population is discouraged and disoriented, eager to return to certain activities such as going to the gym, to a theatre performance or having a drink on a terrace. What have companies done? They have turned to emotionality. Messages of hope and learning are proving to be the most common in campaigns and consumers are rejecting them as opportunistic.

In terms of spending, the Spanish citizen seems to be adopting a thrifty attitude. In the early days of confinement, consumers were content with small caprices at home to compensate for not going out, it was the time for pastry and DIY. However, the trend in spending is decreasing. While there has been no change in essential services, other sectors such as electronics and fashion have declined. Google specialists identify five types of consumers that brands need to take into account for their campaigns to be effective: resistant, scared, empowered, expectant and shocked.

What conclusions can we draw from the new COVID consumer?

The major conclusion is that citizens are increasingly focusing on their own benefit and that of their closest loved ones, paying special attention to not spending more than necessary. Consumers wish to stop dwelling on the current situation, as it brings them discomfort and frustration. Therefore, marketing ads and campaigns should convey messages filled with hope, tailored to individuals and those close to them.

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