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November 30th, 2020
Consumer Confidence: @ The Local Survey Offers Injection of Hope

As England reaches the end of Lockdown 2.0 and enters a series of Tiers in the run up to the New Year, the Government and NHS England are considering how they can persuade people to trust in a Covid-19 vaccine.

There are concerns about a low take-up, but are these fears justified and how do people really feel?

It’s a question we put to Ocean’s @ The Local exclusive consumer survey panel which is made up of a nationally representative sample of 2,000 people.

The results are more than encouraging, demonstrating a collective sigh of relief (you can download the full presentation here).

They also explain why people might be undecided and show what needs to be done to grow public confidence through an informed public information campaign.

According to the @ The Local panel:

  • An overwhelming number say they feel positive (66%) about a vaccine, rising to 78% among the over 55s and 70% among ABC1s and those most exposed to out of home (OOH).*
  • Of course there are sceptics – 11% say they feel negative about the vaccine. However, when asked why they feel this way, a significant number (63%) say they don’t know enough about it and want more information before they get immunised.
  • 13% believe that they don’t need a vaccine and 9% say they’d prefer the vaccine to go to someone more vulnerable than themselves, pointing to concerns about availability.
  • 58% of respondents say the main reason they want to get immunised is to resume their normal lives as soon as possible. This rises to 73% among the 18-to -34 year olds and 80% among those most exposed to OOH.*
  • 74% of consumers say just knowing there is vaccine being rolled out makes them feel more hopeful about the future.
  • 69% say they will feel more optimistic about going out more and 63% say they will feel less worried about Covid-19 if people become immunised.

Shot In the Arm for Brands and Retail

Ocean’s @ The Local panel has become a barometer for consumer sentiment and is constantly gauging people’s intent in a post pandemic Covid-19 safe universe across all categories.

The latest statistics show just how much people value out of home lifestyles and experiences and how much they want to get back outdoors  – something that becomes even more of a reality as a mass vaccine is rolled out.

When that happens:

  • Seeing family and friends again will be paramount (69%), and 40% can’t wait to get away again, suggesting a boost to travel and domestic or foreign holidays.
  • 27% can’t wait to return to their local and 40% are looking forward to dining out again without the complication of Covid-19 bubbles.
  • Unsurprisingly, 18 to 34-year-olds and those most exposed to OOH*, will lead the charge by resuming normal out of home pursuits and lifestyles the quickest.
  • Spending intent does not change. From apparel and beauty to holidays, big ticket items and a return to big stadia events, consumers say they will continue to spend just as much, or more, across all key categories.  Once again, 18 to 34-year-olds will drive that spend.

The Roaring Twenties

This optimism is supported by a forecast from the Resolution Foundation which reckons Britain could be set for another “Roaring Twenties” after the pandemic ends and families unleash the cash they’ve saved.

It was a trend economists say happened post Lockdown 1.0. For those people lucky enough to have steady incomes, family finances improved as households used the opportunity to pay down credit debts by around £18billion.

This meant consumers had cash to splash when the summer restrictions were lifted, leading to a rebound in consumption as consumers made delayed purchases and took advantage of tax reliefs and incentives for the housing and hospitality sectors such as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Who knows if the right conditions will allow the same level of exuberant spend post Lockdown 2.0.

What we do know is that @ The Local paints an optimistic picture suggesting that people are eager to start spending more over the coming quarter as they look forward to some sort of normality after so many difficult months.

There’s no magic bullet but an evident and voracious appetite for a return to out of home lifestyles aided by the availability and roll out of a mass vaccine will hopefully help Britain enter 2021 with a Bang, not a Whimper.

Download the full @ The Local presentation here.

Definition: *These are people who are more exposed to out of home media than any other media channel.

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