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  • Writer's pictureFlorian

Living in the age of COVID-19 (Part 1)

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

This article aims to present a study conducted by our experts, the DataDiggers team.

These past few months have been a period of rapid discovery and abrupt change. The way people buy both food for daily consumption and products for personal use has also changed. If before the card payment was not often used, now it has been encouraged by department stores to avoid contact with microbes. Therefore, in the following lines we will present a part of our study. It is not fully ready, but the current results are very helpful in better understanding consumer behavior during the pandemic.

During May 22nd and June 9th, we ran the fieldwork for our research, LIVING IN THE AGE OF COVID-19. The study was run in Romania, Greece, Hungary and Czech Republic.

The survey took 8 minutes to complete and our respondents were females and males between 18-65 years old. We archived 800 completed surveys in every country, following the national representative profile, with a sampling error of ±3.46%. We applied quotas on age, gender and region and the sample has been weighted to ensure accordance with every country's specificity. Weighting efficiency was above 80%.

Here are some interesting insights and findings, while we finish our analysis:

1) Where did you buy basic commodities such as food, water or cleaning products during the COVID-19 pandemic most often?

When it comes to buying the basic commodities (food, water or cleaning products) during COVID-19 pandemic 3 out of 4 persons usually opt for "a supermarket/ hypermarket in the area near my house". This is given mainly by the need of going to a store big enough for allowing the access to all required products and in the same time for limiting the number of shopping experiences. Online shopping of basic commodities is not a consistent buying behavior.

When comparing the data among the countries, we can notice the same trend with a single significant difference, for GR, where the proportion of persons indicating "a supermarket/ hypermarket in the area near my house" is higher, this being given by the country specifics (lack of small stores near the house).

2) What is the payment method you used most often when paying for commodities such as food, water or cleaning products purchased during this period?

2 out of 3 persons living in urban areas prefer to use the card as payment method during this period.

Speaking of country level result, Czech Republic and Greece have a significantly higher percentage of respondents that indicated "card" is the preferred payment method (7 out of 10) comparing to Romania and Hungary (6 out of 10).

3) Compared to the period before the COVID-19 crisis, you would say that you pay by bank card for purchases of goods and services…

Overall speaking, 4 out of 10 respondents estimate that their buying behavior changed during the COVID-19 crisis, payment with a bank card being done more often or much more often than before.

The change in payment behavior, by using card instead of cash, also comes as alignment to Governments recommendation.

Country results show that while Hungary citizens did not feel that much of a change in their behavior compared to a regular period, 60% of them estimated that they pay by card as often as before, while Romanian citizens consider in an almost 50% that they are paying with their card more often.

4) If we could talk about the benefits of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, what would they be? Please indicate a maximum number of 3, which you consider the most important.

"Reducing the level of pollution worldwide" and "Time spent with family" are the main perceived 'benefits' of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Compared to the other analyzed countries, Romanian respondents indicated into a significantly higher proportion the "time spent with family" as one of the main so-called benefits of pandemic. On the other hand, Czech Republic respondents see "people's solidarity in the face of danger" as a 'benefit' in a significantly higher percentage comparing to the other countries that were analyzed.

Our study consisted of 13 questions, but in order not to make today's article too long, we will leave the rest of the questions and comments on them for future dates, so as not to bore the public either.

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