Findings from an International Business Machines (IBM), Institute for Business Value (IBV) survey of U.S. consumers reveals shifting personal behavior and preferences resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study polled more than 25,000 U.S. adults in the month of April to understand how COVID-19 has affected their perspectives on a number of issues, including retail spending, transportation, future attendance at events in large venues, and returning to work.
The results revealed that not only do U.S. consumers surveyed plan to make significant changes in the way they go about their lives and work in the wake of the virus.
Many consumers indicated that they plan to reduce their use of – or forgo entirely – ridesharing and public transportation once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.
"The study provides further evidence that COVID-19 is permanently altering U.S. consumer behavior. There are long term implications of the new consumer behaviors for industries like retail, transportation, and travel among others.
“These organizations need to quickly adapt their business models to serve the new consumer behaviors in order to survive and thrive," said Jesus Mantas, Senior Managing Partner, IBM Services.
The survey results show consumer attitudes toward public transportation have shifted notably. More than 20 percent of respondents who regularly used buses, subways or trains now said they no longer would, and another 28 percent said they will likely use public transportation less often.
More than half of people surveyed who used ridesharing apps and services said they would either use these less or stop using these services completely. Findings were not quite as dire for taxis and other traditional car services, as a smaller 24 percent of people surveyed indicated they will no longer use these modes of transportation.
More than 17 percent of people surveyed said that they intend to use their personal vehicle more as a result of COVID-19, with approximately 1 in 4 saying they will use it as their exclusive mode of transportation going forward.
One-third of respondents said that constraints on their personal finances will "greatly" influence their decision to buy a vehicle once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. More than 25 percent said that a lack of confidence in the global and U.S. economic outlook will impact their decisions to buy a vehicle – with nearly the same number of people saying they would be holding off on buying for more than 6 months.
Consumers added that manufacturer incentive programs are not likely to persuade or change their thinking.
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