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March 16, 2020

Coronavirus News Sources Directly Impact Consumer Purchase Behavior

MediaPost: "Some 58% of Americans get news about coronavirus online, including 30% from television, 5% just from social media, 3% from radio, and 8% said they’re not following the news about coronavirus. Where they get their news has a direct influence on a variety of factors.The data from Civicscience is based on survey results of 10,454 respondents between March 5 and March 12. There is a high correlation between coronavirus concerns, consumer economic sentiment and political affiliation. Some 46% of survey participants said they are concerned about the potential for the coronavirus to become an epidemic in the U.S., and in doing so the U.S. economy will get worse, while 33% are somewhat concerned and 16% are not concerned. People in the midwest are slightly less concerned than those in other parts of the country. About 65% say they are shopping the same in stores and 54% say they are shopping the same online... Nothing is more predictive than the extent of the concerns people have about this virus than the cable news network they watch, said John Dick, CEO of CivicScience, a consumer polling service. “It’s remarkable enough to believe it is a causal factor and not a correlated one, which is not something we often make a leap to, but it’s pretty evident,” he said during a webinar. The survey asked those polled to name the cable news network they watch and how concerned they are about the potential for coronavirus to become an epidemic in the U.S. Those who watch CNN and MSNBC are the most concerned at 52% and 44%, respectively. Only 9% and 5% are not concerned, respectively. Some 39% who watch Fox News said they are not at all concerned, while 39% are somewhat concerned and 21% are very concerned... The data suggest tight relationships between consumers who are concerned and not concerned and their likeness to make purchases. In the case of Nike shoes, people who are not at all concerned with coronavirus are the least likely to buy Nike shoes or products because that group tends to be politically conservative... [Also,] more conservative consumers tend to live in a rural areas and like to eat at Chick-fil-A... [and] 38% who love to eat at Chick-fil-A are not concerned at all about the potential for an epidemic in the U.S... As expected there’s a bearish stock market view among those more concerned about coronavirus. Those less concerned seem to think this will have a lesser impact on their personal financial situation."


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