Corona Tracking - Wave 2: Consumers need more emotional support

Two times a month, Serviceplan Group publishes the results of their global enquiry about the Covid-19’s economic impact in Belgium, in collaboration with PUB. Factors such as the consumers’ mood, habits, purchase behaviour and media usage are analysed through a survey of 600 Belgians aged between 18 and 69.


The global results of the enquiry will be shared on Thursday 4th of June, at 15:00, when Serviceplan and PUB will explain in detail the results of the enquiry during a livestream with guest speakers (e.g. Joseph Jaffe).

This week, we’re publishing the results of the study’s second wave, concerning the behaviour of the Belgian consumers during weeks 17 and 18 of the pandemic. This study finds that the consumers are feeling more pessimistic with the current situation, that brand loyalty is decreasing and that the most important criteria for purchase is price.

Optimism has slightly declined

More people are feeling pessimistic with the current situation: this group increased from 22% to 25%. People with a positive view (30% in week 17-18 vs 32% in week 15-16) are mainly men, in a relationship or married, highly educated and employed full-time.

24% of belgians think the current isolation measures will last for at least three more months

The number of people who think the current isolation measures will last more than three months increased in week 17-18, compared to the two previous weeks (24% vs 17%).

What has changed over the past two weeks is that there is an increased amount of people (31.3% vs 28% previously) that have started planning for their future. This can indicate that people are getting out of the “uncertainty” and stagnation phase and moving onto a more active role again, resuming their planning.

Groceries, sweets & snacks are still the top categories in consumption but other segments also gained relevancy

Compared to W15-16, more people now state increased consumption of Non-Alcoholic (14%) and Alcoholic beverages (11%), DYI and home improvement products (12%) and health related products and subscriptions (6%).

This change of behaviour compared to the beginning of the month reflects that people are dedicating more time to their hobbies, personal well-being and working on improvements in their houses.

Online purchases are getting more popular

The percentage of people buying mainly online has increased especially for Health related products and subscriptions and Household appliances (read more about the increasing popularity of Health related products in our Zoom article this Thursday).

Online has also gained importance for people buying outerwear, shoes and accessories, cosmetics and beauty products.

Price is the most important criteria

In the current consumption situation, people pay particular attention to purchase criteria that provide them with the usual security and continuity. This increases expectations of quality and more attention is paid to the price.

Decline of customer loyalty

Only 34% declare that the brand is an important point for them, which highlights the issue of the declining customer loyalty.

In order to keep up with customers’ expectations, it is important to remain relevant and transparent. Price, quality and regionality need to be highlighted as USPs in the communication in order to be first choice.

Consumers want a higher consideration of their needs

The demand for a higher consideration on consumers’ needs and regional offers remains a strong trend.

As the weeks go by, we observe a slight deterioration of trust in the economy to provide all necessary products and in media channels to get information.

There is opportunity to have increased contact with consumers through tv and digital

TV, Digital News, Search engines, Youtube, Instagram and game (app, computer and console) are currently the most important touchpoints with opportunities to have increased contacts with the consumer.

In short

Optimism has slightly deteriorated as two more weeks went by into the lockdown period. However, we see more people (31.3% vs 28% previously) starting to plan for the future. This can indicate that people are getting out of the stagnation phase and moving onto a more active role again, resuming their planning.

People’s trust in the economy and in media channels is declining and they want their needs to be considered more, which can indicate the want of emotional support and more positivity.

If you have any question or if you want to have more details about your sector, don’t hesitate in sending an email at We’ll gladly set up a call to go through your sector’s specific results.


Join our Live Streaming and discover the results of our Corona-tracking.

Thursday 4/06 15:00 to 16:00 on all our social media channels.

Don’t miss out on Joseph Jaffe’s advice!

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