NEW YORK / LONDON / SYDNEY, 4th August, 2021: Blis, the pioneer of privacy-first location-powered advertising, today reveals its new Consumer Confidence Pulse — the most comprehensive tracker of its kind — this interactive dashboard builds on its existing trended data around consumer mood to analyse COVID anxiety. The dashboard also now tracks consumer movement over a rolling 13-month period, across 18 retail and lifestyle sectors including airports, gyms, malls, restaurants and grocery stores.
The Pulse runs in the UK, USA, Netherlands, Italy, Singapore and Australia and will launch in India, New Zealand and the Philippines in the coming months. Each month it tracks responses to four questions around the economy, household financials, spend intent and COVID-19 anxiety. Coupled with consumer movement analysis, the dashboard enables brands to better understand trendlines by industry sectors.
Several key takeaways include:
- Consumer concern around COVID-19 is receding, but the majority remain cautious.
- Economic confidence is returning, fuelled by active consumers.
- Household financial confidence – relatively robust even throughout the worst of the crisis, thanks in part to government income support schemes – is having a wobble as uncertainty surfaces.
- When initial lockdowns were relaxed, consumers gradually resumed previous activities, but with each subsequent lifting of restrictions, the speed of return has increased.
- Fiscal responsibility was evident as people weathered the storm by saving more, and paying off debt as priorities.
Alex Wright, Blis Global Insights Director, commented: “Our data has shown that consumers are capable of exercising their own caution in advance of government imposed restrictions. However, even with the virus remaining a pervasive and justifiable concern for many, the growing number of people becoming more active month-after-month in retail and lifestyle activities suggests that the need to start getting back to ‘normal’ outweighs the caution.”
In the UK, Blis’ data suggests that confidence in the economy has seen a boost with a leap to net -1% from last month’s lower value of -12%, which is the single biggest month-on-month increase in the last year. Consumers’ outlook on household finances is lower than seen in March 2021 but remains in positive territory having recovered a little of the ground lost last month to settle at net +4% for July 2021.
As consumer confidence increases, consumers are opting for “savings” as the top choice for allocating spare cash. However, debt repayment – which was a key theme throughout 2020 – has not seen a comparable rise, potentially a reflection of consumers saving up for holiday spending or travel instead of financial caution.
In the US, Blis’ data suggests that despite new variants becoming hot topics of concern this hasn’t stopped more consumers returning to everyday life in July, albeit alongside recent dips in economic and household financial confidence.
Consumers’ desire to save money remains high in July, with 1 in 5 respondents saying this is what they’d do with spare cash, but this month also marks the first time that debt repayment has been the number one priority for our respondents – the second consecutive month of increase, and almost double since May.
In Australia, the cautious optimism witnessed at the start of the year shifted towards uncertainty during Q2, and posted notable month-on-month declines in July as persistent community cases and a near nationwide lockdown took a toll on sentiment.
Since lockdowns were imposed across most major cities mobility has trended down across all sectors, but nonetheless remains more robust than this time last year even if July sees debt repayment rise in prominence at the expense of saving.
In Singapore, our respondents posted the lowest level of COVID concern across the 9 markets we track, perhaps linked to the recording of just a single death in July despite rising cases – a situation not seen since February.
Despite the trend away from covid anxiety, consumer mobility in July demonstrates caution amid rising cases, perhaps linked to recent memories of the tightened restrictions in May-June to deal with an outbreak, with retail foot traffic down a little month-on-month, but flat versus the same time last year.
Gil Larsen, MD, US, Blis added: “Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen brands pivot their operations, strategy and messaging multiple times to meet their consumers’ concerns about safety. The new dashboard will be an invaluable tool for brands to get ahead of the curve by ensuring their campaigns and messaging are striking the right tone and audiences at the right time.”
The interactive dashboards can be found here and will be updated monthly.
Blis is the leading privacy-first, location-powered programmatic advertising partner. We deliver accurate targeting at scale without reliance on personal data, helping the world’s largest brands and media agencies drive key business outcomes through personalized and high-performing digital advertising.
Blis uses real-world and online data, as well as behavior and lifestyle indicators, to profile and understand audiences better than anyone else. Using a huge opted-in global planning and measurement panel and taking an aggregated and anonymous approach to audience targeting, Blis reaches precise audiences at scale without reliance on personal data.
Established in the UK in 2004, Blis now operates in more than 40 offices across five continents. Working with the world’s largest and most customer-driven companies across all verticals including Unilever, Samsung, McDonald’s, HSBC, Mercedes Benz and Peugeot, as well as every major media agency, Blis reaches over a billion mobile devices a year.
To learn more, visit blis.com.