Impact on Consumer Behavior in MEA: COVID-19 Survey Snapshot - Week 9
GlobalData is carrying out weekly consumer surveys in 11 countries between 25th March and 31st May 2020, to track consumer sentiment and shopping behavior during the Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic. The sample size is 500 respondents per country, per week. The two countries in scope for Middle East & Africa are South Africa and UAE. Questions are consistent every week, and cover consumer opinions about COVID-19, buying behavior and product choices and impact of the Coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak on consumers' lifestyle and activities. This report summarizes the key findings from responses in week 9.
Over the past few weeks, responses in the UAE have fluctuated. Since week 8, respondents extremely concerned increased by 7%. This likely followed as lockdown hours were extended on the 18th May as daily cases encountered an increase. Having now stabilized with a national sterilization program in place, Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed has now declared that from 27th May, free movement and business activity will begin.
78% of South Africans declare they are on a tight budget when shopping for products within their household. Economic constraints is a key barrier facing all destinations due to COVID-19 but in South Africa domestic spending will likely be particularly affected. If general shopping budgets are cut this may impact plans on future travel bookings (non-essential) as consumers are more stringent with their savings.
Over the past week there has not been many notable differences but visits to shopping centers and malls is still down considerably in the UAE. A higher number of female respondents are still not going to shopping centers/malls. 27% of females have stopped going completely as opposed to 18% of men. A slightly higher number of females still expect the outbreak of COVID-19 to get a bit worse over the next month than men, likely impacting the responses above. As found on slide two, how the perception of how the outbreak of COVID-19 will play out is still very much uncertain. The majority of both male (44%) and female (38%) respondents are going to shopping centers/malls less frequently than before the pandemic. Uncertainties relating to health and hygiene likely persist.
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