In this week’s Harris Poll Tracker, we look ahead at family planning in a post-pandemic world and what Americans have learned about home ownership. Also, some lessons from the Northeast on opening the economy, as well as our appreciation for Big Box retailers.
The Future of Family (Planning) – Could the future consist of smaller families living closer to one another? Various life-changing events (marriage, having children, living closer to family, what kids’ study in college) are bubbling to the forefront as many Americans are doing some heavy soul-searching. Both parents and nonparents.
Home is Our (Suburban) Sanctuary – ‘Home’ brings the sense of safety, nurturing and togetherness, and no better time to reframe this than now. Purchasing new homes and remodeling current homes are on the horizon.
Financial Future – Many Americans are dipping into their retirement savings; nearly a quarter (22%) have had to because of the pandemic, especially Americans with an annual household income of more than $75K, as well as urbanites (35% vs 31% suburban/rural).
Reopening of America: Northeast coast may hold the key – protecting team members and society at large seems to be the mantra of the Northeast coast (NYC, NJ, CT, MA). These urban centers along the northeast coast have been hit the hardest by the pandemic and business decision-makers (BDMs) in those regions are heeding caution: once restrictions are lifted, these areas are still likely to remain closed until the virus is gone. Could they be the bellwether for an effective (and safe) reopening?
*Less time at the office could mean more time for family-friendly activities near home, like fishing and boating.
Big Box Retail Love – 70% of Americans miss shopping in stores and specifically big-box retail. Wal-Mart (80%) would be missed the most if they closed for good, followed by Target (69%) and Best Buy (65%). However, not surprisingly, two-thirds of Americans say it’s safer to buy big items online right now, making a strong online presence incredibly critical, even for small retailers. Big box electronics are the draw to get consumers back shopping in-stores, with 66% saying they will return to big box stores within three months.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR OUR INDUSTRY:
Distrust and fear are still real for many Americans as they prefer to stay indoors although many states have eased stay-at-home orders. Keep offering fishing and boating products online, as two-thirds of Americans still agree it’s safer to buy online right now. Consider creating “how-to” videos for complex gadgets and equipment with step-by-step instructions on how to assume/use a product. Focus on the core family when marketing/advertising products and services; most families (80%) seem content with their family unit “as is.”
RBFF receives these weekly consumer insights from its partners at Colle McVoy. This study was fielded online among a nationally representative sample of 2,030 U.S. adults between May 8 - 10, 2020.
Stay tuned to the RBFF Blog for additional weekly consumer insights related to COVID-19.