10 Ways Coronavirus is Changing Consumer Behaviour in the UK Published: 14. May 2020

Appinio, the market research company has investigated the effects of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic on the everyday life and consumer behaviour of Brits. For this purpose, Appinio twice carried out a country representative survey on 1,000 Brits between the ages of 16 and 65.


The studies covers the following areas: concerns about health, information procurement, behavioural changes, buying behaviour for food and non-food products, changes in off- and online shopping and brand loyalty.


The results presented are only an excerpt, taken from the section on leisure and consumption behaviours of Brits during the coronavirus crisis. The complete study results can be downloaded free of charge.

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Top 10 Insights from the consumer study

  1. Shift from offline to online shopping during and after the crisis 
    47% say that even after the crisis, they will continue purchasing fewer items from stores - 52% now buy more online than they did before in comparison to the 41% of participants who said they did four weeks ago.



  1. Coronavirus as an opportunity and a challenge for e-commerce
    Can online shops keep up with the high demand and expectations of their customers? 55% of online shoppers have already had a negative user experience when shopping online during the crisis.

  2. Stronger focus on corporate social responsibility
    Even or especially during these challenging times, the majority of Brits (79%) expect companies and brands to show social commitment.

  3. Increasing acceptance for marketing campaigns linked to coronavirus
    Only 9% of Brits perceive adverts related to coronavirus negatively - 34% now perceive them (very) positively while this was the case for only 29% of Brits 4 weeks ago.

  4. Concerns about long-term effects of the crisis are increasing
    44% are now worried about the long-lasting economic consequences of the crisis while only 36% named them as one of their biggest fears 4 weeks ago.



  1. The pandemic is changing the Brits’ way of working - are they long-term adjustments or short-term responses?
    52% of the working population is already working from home - 39% did so 4 weeks ago. Now, 34% of them can imagine doing most of their work from home even after the crisis.

  2. Health of family & friends is at the centre of the Brits’ concerns
    As the coronavirus pandemic continues on, the worry of a potential risk of infection is increasing. As early as 4 weeks ago, the risk of infection for family & friends was the largest corona related fear in the UK. Now, even more Brits have chosen it as one of their largest fears (61% vs 55%).

  3. An increasing number of Brits are taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of infection
    By now, 18% of Brits are wearing face masks to reduce the risk of infection while only 9% were doing so during the earlier stages of the crisis, namely 4 weeks ago. However, the use of face masks still lags far behind the 3 most common preventative measures taken, which are: washing hands more often (79%), avoiding crowds (78%) & avoiding public transport (67%).



  1. Coronavirus is forcing Brits to be more open to digital apps
    Many Brits are using video-calls (28%) or services like home-delivery of groceries (16%) for the first time because of the crisis - most first-time-users say they’ll keep those new habits.

  2. Adapting leisure activities and thinking politics
    While coronavirus led more than half of Brits to watch more TV, stream video content or improve their cooking skills, it’s also causing some Brits (15%) to rethink their opinion about Brexit.


The full report contains more than 35 pages of consumer behaviour insights focusing on topics like general concerns, concerns about health, trustworthiness of information sources, changes in leisure activities and hobbies, grocery shopping behavioir and brand loyalty.

Download full report 


More about Appinio

Icon-Appinio-LupeAppinio is a global market research platform enabling companies worldwide to obtain thousands of opinions from specific target groups in just a few minutes. For the first time, anyone can validate decisions and ideas in real time - with representative results from consumers. As the fastest solution for market research, Appinio delivers feedback from 50+ markets.

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