Consumer Insights: Meet the Disrupted Consumer

Today I’m going to share some consumer insights with you from a report recently published by research & analytics firm, Resonate.

By: Michael Brito

Category: Analytics

Today I’m going to share some consumer insights with you from a report recently published by Resonate, “Consumer Disrupted: State of the Consumer 2021”. The report is free, but you’ll have to provide your email address before downloading. I enjoy reading reports like this because understanding consumer insights is a critical skill for marketers in this era. I won’t go through the full report just a couple data points that I thought were interesting.

This report touches on the disrupted consumer and their shopper journey. And if any year has disrupted our lives, it has been 2020 given the pandemic, shelter in place, vaccination requirements, and everything else in between. One of the things about the report that I like is that they reference third party sources to reinforce points made in the report.

Consumer insights that are backed by other, third party and reliable sources are ones that I find to be the most credible and actionable. In this case, they cite the Harvard Business Review. It’s not clear exactly where the quote is coming from but the report states that during times of stress, consumers buy what is familiar to them–products like toilet paper, hand sanitizer or McDonald’s. They’re looking for comfort food or commerce and they are in the market for products and services that are dependable practical and of course sustainable.

This consumer insights report was created by a national consumer study of 13,000 Americans. They use machine learning to find other respondents using several online behavior and contextual data points. At the end of the day, this is primary research.

The disrupted consumer is 55% female. 24% have a household income of between 25,000 to $50,000 per year annually and 48% have more than $30,000 in discretionary income. 43% are employed full-time 17% are retired and 41% have children under 18.

Here are a few interesting points. 30% of the disrupted consumer is Gen X. That is my generation. 30% are also millennials. 26% are baby boomers, 12% are Gen Z and 2% are what’s called the silent generation. I had to look this up but these are people that were born between the year 1928 to 1945.

Consumer Insights

Consumer Insights: Values & Psychological Drivers

The top values of the disrupted consumer include:

  • Safety in community and nation
  • Maintaining traditions
  • Being reliable and trustworthy

Their top psychological drivers include:

  • Trust from others
  • Proving competence
  • Optimistic outlook

These data points are very interesting to me especially when thinking about the different generations. Considering the social justice issues that the world has been going through over the last 18 months I find the top value of maintaining traditions to be an interesting data point. I’m curious what the actual questions were in the survey.

Obviously, with retail being severely affected by the pandemic, most Americans turned to online shopping at Amazon and other retailers. According to this report, 54% of the disrupted consumer spends more than $20 online per week. It’s also important to note that 80% are on Facebook and 49% our on Instagram.

In a more recent report called Gen Z shopping habits from eMarketer, 50% of Gen Z use social media to discover new products. This data is consistent with several consumer insights reports I have read in the past.

The Perspective of the Disrupted Consumer

When asked about the current quality of the US economy, 38% believe that the economy is in poor shape. 35% believe it’s in a fair place, 17% it’s very poor and 9% believe the economy is in a good place.

When respondents were asked when life will return to normal, 33% believe it would take more than a year. This was followed by 22% 4-6 months, 23% 7 to 12 months, 11% two to three months, and 8% say never. So much for being optimistic.

A few other data points that I found to be interesting included that 51% of disrupted consumers are highly concerned about the economic consequences of the pandemic. 62% are concerned about the health consequences of the pandemic and 64% are worried about catching COVID-19.

How to find Consumer Insights

I get asked a lot from colleagues and peers about where I get consumer insights from. There are a few resources that I typically follow and subscribe to like eMarketer, Resonate, Gartner, and Global Web Index.

One suggestion I might have to provide additional context to this report is to layer on a social media analysis methodology. This will give us an opportunity analyze what they say they care about on a survey and cross reference that with what they actually talk about in public and on social media.

I really hope you enjoyed this video. I do my best to create content that’s actionable and provides value to the work you do.

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