COVID-19 and Social Distancing in the U.S.

COVID-19 and social distancing are changing the way U.S. consumers live their daily lives. Many of us are now working from home, our children’s classes have moved online, and our vacations have been indefinitely postponed. Trips to the store are fewer-and-farther between. Social distancing continues to be recommended in the media, through social networks, and by our federal, state, and local governments. How effective have these measures been at encouraging social distancing, and how much has consumer behavior changed as a result?

Gravy’s Visitation data measures consumer visits to millions of commercial places of interest, for thousands of different brands. This data is generated using billions of daily location signals from millions of anonymous, consumer mobile devices. We hypothesized that changes in consumer visits to commercial locations could help us to understand whether or not consumers are staying out of stores, and in turn, provide insight into whether social distancing is happening.

For this analysis, we looked at over 2.9 billion consumer visits observed between February 1 and March 19, 2020 at commercial locations across the U.S. For ease of comparison, daily foot traffic in March was indexed to average, same-day foot traffic during the month of February.

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Here’s what we found:

  • In general, residents nationwide behaved as usual through March 13. Between March 1- March 13, daily visitors to commercial places of interest was similar to February.
Daily Device Visits
  • Starting March 14, however, visit patterns shifted dramatically. By March 19, consumers visiting commercial places of interest had decreased by 38%.
Indexed Daily Device Visits

Consumer behavior is clearly changing – and rapidly. Over the coming weeks, Gravy will be releasing additional data and analysis to highlight how consumer movement is changing around the country, and how commercial locations across industries  – from restaurants to hotels to food stores and pharmacies – are being impacted by social distancing and COVID-19.

How has your daily routine changed in recent weeks? How could location data and location-derived insights help you adjust your business and marketing strategies to meet changing consumer needs? If you’d like to learn even more about location intelligence, request your no-obligation consultation today.

Talk with a Gravy Analytics sales representative to learn how location intelligence can benefit your business.

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