U.S. consumers surveyed by IBM in April said they plan to make significant changes in the way they go about their lives and work in the wake of the coronavirus, voting thumbs down on rideshares and thumbs up on remote work.
The study by the IBM Institute for Business Value polled more than 25,000 U.S. adults to understand how COVID-19 has affected their perspectives on a number of issues, including retail spending, transportation, future attendance at events in large venues, and returning to work.
Many consumers indicated that they plan to reduce their use of— or forgo entirely—ridesharing and public transportation.
- Specifically, more than 20 percent of respondents who regularly used buses, subways or trains now said they no longer would, and another 28 percent said they will likely use public transportation less often.
- More than half of people surveyed who used ridesharing apps and services said they would either use these less or stop using these services completely. A smaller 24 percent of people surveyed indicated they will no longer use taxis and traditional car services.
- More than 17 percent said that they intend to use their personal vehicle more as a result of COVID-19, with approximately 1 in 4 saying they will use it as their exclusive mode of transportation going forward.
- One-third of respondents said that constraints on their personal finances will “greatly” influence their decision to buy a vehicle once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
- More than 25 percent said that a lack of confidence in the global and U.S. economic outlook will impact their decisions to buy a vehicle. Manufacturer incentive programs are not likely to persuade or change their thinking, they said.
As for work preferences, nearly 40 percent of respondents said they feel strongly that their employer should provide employee opt-in remote work options when returning to normal operations. In addition, more than 75 percent indicated they would like to continue to work remotely at least occasionally, while more than half—54 percent—would like this to be their primary way of working.
Respondents were also asked whether they are likely to attend large events once the crisis abates, and most said they would not, although sporting events were a different story.
More than half of respondents said they are unwilling to be exposed to large crowds for the remainder of 2020, with 75 percent indicating that they are unlikely to attend an in-person conference or trade show in 2020.
More than one-third of consumers indicated they will visit these bars and restaurants.
Many respondents also expressed changes in the way they will shop and spend their money, including an increased willingness to use contactless payment technologies when shopping.