Consumers: COVID Concern Vs 2021 Spending Expectations

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The hits keep coming in 2020. While we all stay focused on executing our plans through the remainder of the year – and within the elements we can control – BCE continues to see signs for optimism in the consumer world for 2021.

In BCE’s most recent analysis of post-COVID consumer behaviors and attitudes, we’ve been exploring the relationship between different consumer groups’ level of concern around COVID and their expectations for spending next year.

This analysis appears to show two distinct mindsets among consumers in the post-COVID economy, and with surprising bifurcation within traditional demographic segments. Namely:

GROUP 1: Those who are less concerned about COVID appear to have deviated less from traditional spending habits and therefore don’t see as much change in spending coming in 2021

GROUP 2: Those who are more concerned about COVID today (and have ratcheted back spending as a result) but expect a strong return to spending next year

Baby Boomers
Residents of the South

Gen X
Residents of the Northeast

The implications of these two distinct mindsets should give us some measure of optimism for 2021 – one group see themselves as more insulated from spending changes and signals a “no worse off” mentality for next year while the other appears significantly more bullish on future spending.

This chart also highlights fascinating differences in opposing elements of traditional demographic segments are experiencing COVID and adjusting their spending expectations as a result. Near-term implications for brands and categories are potentially deep and wide ranging, depending on the consumers resident within them.

Where are your customers positioned in this map?

Read BCE’s COVID-19 Impacts on Consumer Spending September 2020 Update here


Walter Shepard

Walter Shepard

Principal, Yarmouth

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