24 Apr 2020

Insights Report On How the Coronavirus (Covid19) Is Having An Impact On The South African Consumer’s Lifestyle And Behaviour

Insights Report On How the Coronavirus (Covid19) Is Having An Impact On The South African Consumer’s Lifestyle And Behaviour

JOHANNESBURG, 24 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic, has deeply challenged every aspect of business and personal lives. Topline Research Solutions (TRS) in partnership with Ganizani Consulting have designed a weekly research tracker survey (Project TopGan) to formally keep businesses and relevant stakeholders connected with people (the customers) so that products and services offered as well risk mitigation interventions remain relevant. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on March 23 2020 that the country will be going into lockdown for 21 days. The lockdown started on midnight March 26 2020 and was scheduled to end on 16 April 2020. This was further extended to the end of April.  On Thursday 23 April 2020, the President further announced a phased resumption of economic activity. He announced that effective from the 1st of May 2020, South Africa will move to level 4 lockdown, stepping down from level 5 lockdown which it is currently under. This research takes into account this lockdown period and future reports will track the behaviour beyond.

The current weekly tracker survey covers:

  • Level of optimism about life in general
  • Shopping behaviours
  • South Africans’ lifestyles, covering sport, entertainment, hobbies, church, live event attendance and more
  • Access to Information Communication Technology (ICT), at home, among South Africans
  • Media consumption and information needs

The research findings clearly confirm that it shall not be business as usual. The pandemic has brought about changes in consumer’s attitudes, behaviour, lifestyle, interests, media consumption and social and e-commerce platforms in the three provinces we tracked namely, Gauteng, KZN and Western Cape (which are also at the forefront in terms of numbers of those affected).

9 out of 10 consumers are worried about the Covid19 pandemic. For survival, businesses need to empathise with the stressed consumer, who is mostly worried about their health/Covid-19, the economy, cost of living, the future of the economy and understand prevailing pain points which are highlighted in this report.

Our data suggests that people are changing their behaviour because of the pandemic and the lock-down requirements set in place by Governments across Africa. People are developing new lifestyles, priorities, experiences and needs.

There has indeed been a change in life as we knew it from optimism, to shopping behaviour to lifestyles. In the past 6 months before the pandemic, our data suggests that 7 out of 10 people were optimistic about life in general, this has plummeted to 2 out of 10 in the past 7 days. This leaves people stressed out.

The data calls for a need for relevant engagement on keeping the stress levels down and motivations up, on connecting with consumers at a deeper, meaningful level on what it is that is keeping them awake at night, their information needs, their lifestyle needs. Messaging that informs and encourages would be welcome by all who communicate with people right now. Technological innovation taking into account the context that we operate in with our ICT capabilities.

Lastly, formal mechanisms that provide customer-experience feedback will be necessary to ensure that the ongoing corrective measures will be aligned and relevant. It is anticipated that those anointed as ‘essential’ services will be exemplary in all respects.

Brands and organisations can’ jump on the bandwagon’ and add brand/organizational specific questions over and above the current questions to our carefully selected panel. Project TopGan is both a telephonic and online survey with respondents drawn from TRS’s electronic database (panel) of adult South Africans across different demographics.


Note to Editors:

Statement issued by Topline Research Solutions. For an interview, please call executive chairman Patson, on 083 423 4554 or Judith Mugeni on 0823166730. For more information or access to report, please email  judith@ganizaniconsulting.com or download the report at https://ganizaniconsultingservices.co.za/default/covid-19-report/

For general enquiries, please write to Charity at the following email address charity@topliners.co.za

(TRS) is a reputable Pan African marketing and social research consultancy based in South Africa whilst Ganizani Consulting is also a reputable Integrated Marketing Communication consultancy domiciled in South Africa.