The economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 in the UK will be underscored by a divide between cautious consumers and those who want to compensate for lost time, new research shows.

The findings in the latest Alfresco Life study from OOH agency Kinetic suggest that brand advertisers will need to be sensitive to both camps and plan far more dynamic brand advertising campaigns that can address both these attitudinal groups.

The survey found strong indications that approximately a third of consumers want to do more shopping, socialising and travelling post-crisis to make up for lost time and that these confident consumers may influence others over time, providing hope for a relatively strong up-tick in economic activity.

Understandably, the distance from lockdown is a factor as well. A month after lockdown lifts, 32% are ready to socialise face-to-face more than before the crisis, rising to 42% six months later. Even among the more cautious a similar path is evident; 37% don’t expect to socialise more a month after lockdown, falling to 27% after six months.

Kinetic also reported that consumers’ desire to return to physical retail experiences will grow rapidly with significant numbers wishing to go to the shops more than they did before the epidemic.

The study found 27% would shop more than before in stores a month after lockdown had been lifted, compared to 42% who disagreed. But asked to think six months into the future and even more (35%) said they expected to do more physical shopping than pre-crisis compared to 33% who disagreed.

Almost half (48%) of respondents expect to be using online retail more than before as lockdown eases – and Kinetic found this proportion of e-commerce usage is likely to stay relatively constant into the future as 47% said they expected six months on to still be doing more shopping online than pre-crisis.

The findings suggest the lockdown has stimulated an increasingly mixed approach to retail, with digital platforms augmenting high street experiences.

Those retail outings are going to be very different as many people expect to continue to maintain social distancing (46%) and avoid crowded locations (47%) for some time. A significant minority said they would shop more thoughtfully (29%) and would support local shops more (33%).

Sourced from Kinetic