AdColony reveals what consumers in the Middle East expect from brands during COVID-19

For the past three months, the COVID-19 outbreak has radically changed people’s daily lives and preferences around the world. Across the globe, people are being encouraged to stay at home in order to ensure their health and safety. As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to grow, technology usage and habits are also seeing major changes. 

AdColony distributed the Coronavirus Impact Survey to the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and LATAM (Latin America) regions this past week to analyze behavior changes due to COVID-19. Respondents’ ages ranged from 14 to 75 and were typically aged 25 to 54 in EMEA and 25 to 44 in LATAM.

Survey Highlights — EMEA

  • Switching to online shopping — 41% of respondents are switching to online shopping and 31% of the respondents are reducing the number of market visits.
  • Public transportation is being reconsidered. — 20% of respondents have cut back on public transport.
  • People are playing more mobile games for relief — 85% are playing mobile games for relief, while 47% of respondents are playing mobile games on their smartphone every day. 32% are playing new games on their phones.
  • Housework is more productive. — More than half of the respondents (54%) said they are doing more household chores.
  • User-initiated ads are the most liked ad format — 23% of the respondents state that they prefer ads that help them notice products they might need. User-initiated advertising is the most positively perceived ad format with 35%.

Warrick Billingham, Regional Sales Director – MENA said, “With new cases being reported daily, it is an important time for brands to determine their role and tone of voice. Should they be quiet? Or should they help control the situation by demonstrating understanding and value during these times of social distancing?”

Kantar Consulting recently released a research to provide updates and insights for brands to manage the impacts of COVID-19 and prepare for the future. As well as the direct impact of the virus, insights from the retail industry, and research on a general recession risk, it also includes detailed analyses of the expectations of consumers from brands.

Here are some of the important insights from the report:

  • In this period, consumers focus on basic needs and expect brands to supply and deliver them reliably.

When we look at consumer purchasing habits from the moment the COVID-19 pandemic started, we see that they are turning to personal hygiene, health and nutrition, and home cleaning products. However, we can also see the consumption of alcoholic beverages, luxury items, and less “storable” foods like fresh meat and fish products are decreasing. For now.

  • Consumers are thinking about the future as well as their current safety and health. Top concerns from consumers about the COVID-19 situation are 30% said they panic about running out of essentials, ending up making ‘panic purchases’. 34% believe this is going to be worse than an economic recession with the risk of people losing jobs. 46% are worried about falling sick. 60% feel the situation demands them to be even more proactive about financial planning and security for the future,

Consumers are aware of the dangers to their health and safety, as well as the decline in business activity around them, which makes them think about what consequences it may have on health and economy issues if the epidemic gets worse. If you look around on social media, many are suggesting ordering to-go from locally-owned restaurants and businesses to keep them afloat during this time. We highly recommend it!

  • As consumers become more aware of their health and safety, they expect brands to show the same care, consideration, and social awareness for the services and products they offer. 

Consumer expectations from brands across categories are 65% Insurance products and services that promise health and wellbeing, 59% Food and Beverage products and services that are safe to use, 56% Consumer Goods products and services that are safe to use, 55% Health and Wellness products and services that promise health and wellbeing, 45% Banking products and services that are safe to use.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, consumers will continue to become more conscious and focus on their own health, safety, and immediate needs. At this point, if brands can support the consumers and address consumer concerns on that immediate basic-needs level, they will gain their trust in the long term.