Friday, 05 June 2020 01:30

Australians ‘more connected’ to family than ever before during COVID-19 Featured

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a “positive” impact on Australian consumers, according to a new study which found that just over half of consumers — or 51% — now feel more connected to their family than ever before.

The research undertaken in May for management consulting and professional services firm Accenture reveals that the top three priorities of Australian consumers right now are the health of friends and family (77%), personal health (75%); and financial security (45%).

The survey of 348 Australians also revealed that consumers continue to shift their grocery habits, with over half (51%) of Australian respondents saying they are buying what they need online and as needed, to ensure there is enough for others.

With panic buying having slowed down, only 10% of Australians are actively stocking up on essentials in case the shops run out and an equally low number are increasing their purchases of products such as hand sanitiser.

Nearly half of those surveyed (48%) said they are using contactless payments (e.g. tap-to-pay, barcode/QR code scan to pay), along with home delivery (41%) and in-app ordering (33%) - with respondents claiming they will maintain their increased level of use of digitally enabled services in the future, including:

  • 85% - Contactless payments
  • 81% - Curb-side pickup/ Click and collect
  • 78% - Shopping via social media platforms (i.e. Instagram)

Accenture says that while the Federal and State Governments have been outlining their phased plans for unlocking the country, Australian consumers remain cautious about venturing out with over half (54%) of respondents feeling most uncomfortable to go to a sporting event or concert, bar or club (47%) and on public transport (45%).

At the same time, less than half (42%) of respondents would be willing to share personal data - i.e. name, address, date of birth and contact details. And to assist with the COVID-19 response, and one-quarter (26%) would share their location data and health data (26% and 25% respectively - however, one-third (34%) are not willing to share any data.

“Although restrictions are being relaxed across the nation, consumers are still concerned when it comes to venturing outside of their home. It is vital for businesses to ensure the right protocols and rules are in place to ease the worry of Australians during this time,” says Glenn Heppell, Products Lead, Accenture Australia and New Zealand.

“As it may be challenging to adapt to the constantly evolving normal, the habits that are formed now by consumers will endure beyond this crisis, permanently changing what we value, how and where we shop and how we live and work.”

Additional survey results include:

Positive rating of COVID-19 handling
81% - Health institutions
76% - Government
71% - Retailers
69% - Restaurants
66% - your employer
66% - Educations institutions
63% - Bars
62% - Banks

Addressing health and safety concerns
65% of respondents would prefer the availability of hygiene products for public use;
60% want visibility of cleaning and sanitation practices;
50% were happy with configuring the physical space to enable social distancing; and
47% would prefer restricting the total number of people allowed in places.

Lasting societal implications after COVID-19
79% of Australians agree that they will increase their focus on health
62% of Australians agree that it will strength local communities
55% of Australians agree it will reinforce confidence in government
51% of Australians agree it will increase the focus on the environment

Increased social connection as a result of COVID-19
55% of Australians feel more connected to family
43% of Australians feel more connected to Friends
38% of Australians feel more connected to Immediate neighbours


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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