COVID-19 worriers vs relaxers: A look at brand preference and dollar spend

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the livelihood of numerous brands. Yet, amidst this sensitive period of time, there are brands which have seen an uptake in their business, according to a survey carried out by YouGov. While this comes as no surprise, the study showed that eCommerce platforms are doing well, with QOO10 taking first place and Shopee in fourth place. 

The study, done by YouGov, splits consumer behaviour into two segments: the COVID-19 worriers (those who are afraid of contracting the virus) who made up 55% of the surveryed population, and the COVID-19 relaxers (those who are not afraid of contracting the virus) who made up 41%. It then curates a top-ten list of brands with the biggest current customer score difference between these two groups based on the past three months. From its results, these brands all saw an increase in purchase especially from Singaporeans who are worried they may contract the virus.

yougov covid 4

According to the report, QOO10 saw 31% of COVID-19 worriers and 24% of COVID-19 relaxers purchasing products on its platform, while Shopee saw 19% of COVID-19 worriers purchasing its products as compared to 15% of COVID-19 relaxers. 

When it comes to food COVID-19 worriers purchased more than the relaxers for both McD's and KFC, with both brands seeing a 6% more purchases from COVID-19 worriers. Meanwhile, cup noodles brand Nissin also experienced a 5% increase of purchase from COVID-19 worriers as compared to the relaxers. Milk formula brand Enfagrow has also seen a 3% difference between the two groups of consumers surveyed.

According to Ervin Ha, head of data products for YouGov APAC, brands that are able to provide services in line with global guidelines on how to contain the virus, such as practicing good hygiene, or simply keeping people entertained and fed at home, are the ones who stand out during this period of time.

Among the brands, Dettol has seen the biggest uptake in its current customer score since the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore. According to YouGov, on the date of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Singapore, Dettol’s Current Customer score stood at +27.3, but within a month (on 27 February 2020), it had peaked at +44.0, indicating a jump of 16.7 points. The data also showed that Dettol is most popular among older Singaporeans (aged 55 years and above), who make up 40% of its customers. Its second biggest customer base are Singaporeans aged 45 to 54.

yougov covid 4

yougov covid 4

On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen some of the most major disruptions for some brands. Last week, AirAsia temporarily hibernated most of its fleet across the network due to the "extensive and increasing border restrictions imposed by various countries" since the COVID-19 outbreak. All short-haul flights to Malaysia, Philippines, India are temporarily suspended, while domestic flights to Thailand and Indonesia will continue at a reduced frequency. All medium and long-haul flights to Thailand are also suspended for three months. Last month, cruise company Princess Cruises has also paused global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months (60 days), which sees impact on voyages departing from 12 March to 10 May.


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