Stress Levels Among Consumers Drops to Lowest Point Since April 2020. 

Orlando, Florida (July 28, 2020) – IZEA Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: IZEA), the premier provider of influencer marketing technology, data, and services for the world’s leading brands, released its latest research initiative today, “The Second Wave: Consumer Intent as COVID-19 Cases Spike in the United States.” The report is the latest in an ongoing study that examines the impacts of COVID-19 on U.S. consumers in order to help marketers and social media influencers navigate a changing landscape. At the time of this survey there were different public health restrictions in effect among States across the country. Large spikes of Coronavirus cases have led policy makers to reconsider the reopening of many businesses with much debate and concern over the reopening of schools and restaurants in particular. 

The new report is available to download for free, here: https://izea.com/covid19/second-wave/

IZEA fielded the study on July 17, 2020 as many state and local governments were reversing policies and setting timelines for children to return back to school. At the same time, many U.S. consumers began to visit local retail and restaurant establishments for the first time in months, with masks required at some and optional at others. The majority of those who participated in the study (95.7%) said they have left their house since the pandemic began, up from 81.1% in April. Only 4.3% of respondents indicated that they remain in lockdown in their homes.  Results are based on the responses from 1,251 U.S. Internet users ages 18-60+. The special report is the sixth in a series of groundbreaking consumer research studies that IZEA has published since the Coronavirus pandemic began to take hold of American consumers in mid-March.  

Key Statistics for Mask Adoption Include:

  • Consumers are willing to wear a mask. 94% of all respondents surveyed indicated that they would be willing to wear a mask if required to visit their favorite retailer or restaurant.
  • Seniors are most concerned. 98% of those ages 60+ indicated that they would wear a mask as compared to 91% of those ages 30-59.
  • Social media support is strong. There is 53x more social media being generated about the #wearamask movement vs. the #nomask movement. 

Key Statistics for Consumer Wellness Include:

  • Stress levels are dropping. The average stress level (rated 0-100) has dropped from “65” in April to “58” in July. We believe this is due to a perceived normalization of COVID-19 routines and operating environments.
  • Parents remain most stressed. Parents with Children Ages 0-10 living at home are 1.2x more stressed than those with no children living at home.
  • Mental health impacts worst for the young. 45% of those ages 18-29 report declining mental health since being impacted by Coronavirus vs. 24% of those ages 60+.

Key Statistics for Internet & Social Media Use Include:

  • YouTube sees largest increase in usage. 46% of social media users indicated that they were spending more time on YouTube, followed by 35% spending more time on Facebook. 
  • Cooking and recipe content rules. 46% of all respondents indicated that they have watch cooking or recipe content, up from 29.1% in April.
  • Social media users looking to upgrade their laptops. Social media users are up to 3.2x more likely to be considering a new laptop, with 32.2% of Twitch users looking to upgrade.

Key Statistics for The Travel Industry Include:

  • Theme park become even less attractive. Only 4% of parents with minor children living at home say that they plan to visit a theme park in the next 1-4 weeks, down from 9% on May 7.
  • Hotels will remain largely vacant but interest is growing. Only 10% of all respondents say that they plan to visit a hotel in the next 1-4 weeks, but that has increased from 7% in May.
  • On the road again. 30% of all respondents indicated that they plan to take a road trip this fall.

Key Statistics for The Home Improvement Industry Include:

  • Concern about third parties in the home persists. 43% of all respondents say they would not allow a professional service person to enter their home at this time.
  • Consumers are investing in their home. 15% of all respondents indicated that they plan to invest $1,000+ on a home improvement project, up 1.9x from May 7.
  • Lawn care equipment is in demand. 14% of all respondents who previously outsourced lawn care say they are now taking on the responsibility of lawn and garden care themselves. 

Key Statistics for Local Businesses Include:

  • Back to the big box. 61% of all respondents indicated that they plan to visit a big box store in the next 1-4 weeks, up 24% since May 7 at 37%.
  • Gas up. 65% of say they plan to visit a gas station in the next 1-4 weeks, up 12% since May 7 at 53%.
  • Eating at home. Only 20% plan to visit a local chain restaurant, down 11% since May 7 at 31%.

“While the second wave of Coronavirus is nowhere near the level of consumer lockdown and business shutdown we saw during the first wave, we are continuing to see the impacts of an ongoing shift in consumer behavior,” said Ted Murphy, Founder and CEO of IZEA. “People are venturing out in public again, but are still largely restricting non-essential activity and avoiding potential hotspots such as airports, theme parks, hotels, and theatres. Social gatherings have shifted from large bars and restaurants to homes and smaller, controlled environments, with consumers taking health precautions including social distancing and wearing a mask when then are in public.”

“We are very encouraged by the willingness of consumers to wear a mask at restaurants and retailers,” said Murphy. “We are aware that some of our clients have struggled with the decision to make masks mandatory at their locations, and we believe this data demonstrates large scale consumer support despite individual incidents featuring those that refuse to wear a mask that may be highlighted in the media. We believe mask mandates will help our country to fully reopen faster and encourage the adoption of strict mask requirements.”

“While masks will help us to reopen, there is no question that the consumer landscape has been forever altered by Coronavirus, especially for those raising children in this uncertain time. Parents with minors living at home are among those most dramatically impacted by the pandemic as they grapple with the challenges created for themselves as well as their dependent children,” continued Murphy. “This is a key demographic for marketers as this group spends more money in virtually every category from cars to groceries. Fifty percent of parents with minors at home indicated that they have permanently changed their shopping habits to spend more online. That number climbs to 53% for those parents who are 30-44 years old, the primary target for high frequency consumer packaged goods. What we are seeing is a tectonic shift in purchasing behavior that will favor the convenience and safety of online shopping experiences. Those experiences will rely on online marketing to raise awareness and drive sales. We believe that influencer marketing is well positioned to drive consumer behavior and become a more significant portion of ad spend moving forward.”

To view all of IZEA’s COVID-19 consumer research in full visit izea.com/covid19.

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