This year has been a year of lockdowns. Just as cases in one country or region appear to be declining, a spike in cases emerges elsewhere resulting in new measures being introduced. Australians were steadily moving through a three-stage plan for easing restrictions and for most states this plan is continuing, with people returning to shopping habits and group activities around the country. However, at the beginning of July, over 300,000 people in the suburbs of Melbourne went into a month-long lockdown following a surge in new infections.
With restrictions on movement ebbing and flowing around the country, our team at Blis wanted to build a complete picture of the impact that these lockdowns had on consumers, businesses and brands.
To understand how consumers were feeling about life after lockdown we ran a six question survey and measured footfall from 100,000s of locations across Australia over the first half of the year. In analysing the data we identified that caution is pervading in most areas but recovery is happening at different speeds.
After months of lockdown most Australians have emerged from their homes and are beginning to interact with the world around them. In June, outdoor activities and food and drink venues across the country experienced a surge in visitors, reaching 74% and 61% respectively of pre-COVID traffic. Despite their caution, Australians are prioritising social and wellbeing needs, albeit in spaces where they can control their environment.
As a result of lockdowns, habits, routines and behaviours were completely upended and will continue to be disrupted as new measures are put in place. With change happening so abruptly marketers must rethink and adapt their strategies, messaging and general operations.
Consumers are more direct and purposeful when outside the home and less prone to distraction. To respond to this, brands should target consumers with more direct, purposeful messaging. Strategies and campaigns that use data and insights to understand consumer behaviours in the current situation will succeed in connecting with the right audience and maintaining their trust.
To get an in-depth market analysis of how Australian consumers are behaving post-lockdown and specific recommendations to help your brand address this new normal, contact our team here.