COVID’s Impact on Consumer Behavior

OOH Is Engaging Consumers More Than Ever

  • Consumers have a renewed appreciation for the outdoors:
    Seven in 10 (69%) say their appreciation of the experience/awareness of their surroundings has increased now that COVID-19 stay-home orders and lockdown restrictions are mostly lifted. Two-thirds (65%) say they try to get out of the house as often say they can, even if it is just for a drive or walk around town. Four in 10 (40%) say they are walking more since the pandemic hit.
  • Americans are turning to the outdoors to stay safe:
    Two-thirds (65%) say they have been trying to find safe outdoor activities to spend their time, while three-fifths (60%) say they wish there were more outdoor dining offerings.
  • This is the moment for Out of Home Advertising:
    Nearly half (45%) of Americans say they are noticing billboards, outdoor video screens, posters, signage, and other OOH ads more than before the pandemic began.
  • OOH is empowering consumers and equipping them with the knowledge they need:
  • Two in five people (38%) said they found COVID-19 safety information to be useful from ads. Nearly 3 in 10 (29%) say they felt grateful for useful information from ads, while (23%) said they were educated about something new and (20%) felt comforted as it was a sign that businesses are back.
  • Consumers are suffering from digital burnout and tuning out digital ads:
    More than 68% of consumers agree that they are spending so much time looking at device screens
    these days that they are tuning out digital online ads.

Changing Consumption Habits

  • Shopping is now all about efficiency and safety:
    (43%) say “I try to make fewer trips to the store and stock up on items as much as I can to minimize the number of times I go shopping” and (34%) say “I’ve stopped casually shopping in-person and only go into a store for pre-determined items.” Safety matters: (29%) say “I prefer to shop at retailers that have thoughtfully planned the store traffic for COVID-19 (e.g., one-way aisles).”
  • COVID-19 has inspired a new wave of purpose driven shoppers:
    (28%) say “I’ve become a better planner (e.g., more aware of what I like to buy, where to buy)”
    and (26%) say “I try to shop more at locally owned stores to support the economy in my community.”
  • As Americans adjust to a socially distanced lifestyle, there is new demand for contact-free commerce:
    (71%) of consumers are interested in takeout from restaurants and (57%) are interested in curbside pickup.
  • The pandemic has caused consumers to consider new brands:
    (43%) are using a mix of new and familiar brands; (12%) are using new brands they will continue to use and replace old brands, and another (12%) are using new brands because it is their only choice
    but plan to switch back to preferred brands once they are available again. Only one-third (32%) are continuing to use the same brands they did prior to the pandemic.


Repost of article originally posted on


Photo credit: