Looking back on 21 months that changed the world

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Transport in April 2020. A national emergency was declared on March 11 and closures began shortly thereafter. Millions of employees have been stunned by orders to work from home. Panic purchases for cleaning products and personal protective equipment (PPE) have started. The first emergency vaccine was still nine months away.

Big cities requisitioned public parks and filled them with temporary medical centers to deal with the overflow of hospitals. Fans were scarce – an alarming addition.

It was then that PYMNTS began to chronicle the COVID-19 pandemic in a series of reports that we have dubbed “pandenomics” – a mixture of “pandemic” and “economics” – capturing the effects of this. which, over the next few months, would transform from a health crisis to a world-changing event in many ways at the height of a world war, and in other ways unlike anything we do had never known.

What follows is a collection of quotes and statistics from this series of reports, showing how far we’ve come – and suggesting how far we have yet to go – in pandemic recovery.

April 2020: the post-pandemic reset

The fact that we were using phraseology like ‘post-pandemic’ in April 2020 shows how little the world understood what was going on or how long it would last.

Among the many revealing statistics in this report, one is eerily similar to the situation almost two years later with the omicron variant.

As the April 2020 survey said, people “fear less of infecting others and more of dying.” The share of consumers who cite infecting others as their main concern has steadily declined, from 37.2% on March 17 to 31.4% on April 11. Meanwhile, an increased proportion cited fear of dying, with the share that reported this as their top concern increasing from 25.2% on March 17 to 31.1% on April 11.

October 2020: the emerging post-COVID-19 consumer

About eight months into what we first saw as a health alert that came and went like a bad flu season, there was still no vaccine available, delivery aggregators were setting in. as the country’s new kitchen / restaurant combo, and people were resigned to the life of confinement.

According to this report, “Our research consistently shows that as the pandemic lasts longer, consumers believe that more time will pass before their lives return to normal. The average consumer now thinks it will be 374 days before the impact of the pandemic on their life subsides. That’s about 2.7 times longer than expected on March 17. “

May 2021: After the vaccines: what mass vaccinations mean for main street traders

As of May 2021, vaccines had been around for about five months, so we sampled Main Street small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and found that the digital shift was underway.

“The adoption of innovation strategies has become commonplace, with an overwhelming 88% of Main Street SME owners reporting that they have implemented some type of innovation, such as contactless technology and digitization , during the pandemic, ”the May 2021 report reads.“ Main street SMEs in the tech sector are leading these investments, with 96% saying they have implemented innovation strategies during the pandemic. “

PYMNTS found that “Main Street SMEs optimistic about the rollout of vaccination are the most likely to make investments, with 62% of those who believe vaccination will be ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ successful planning to do so. This share is only 24% among the SMEs of Main Street which are pessimistic about the effectiveness of the vaccine. “

September 2021: The post-pandemic consumer at 18 months: spend now, worry later

What a difference a year and a half makes. Recall that the fear of dying was in the foreground in the minds of consumers in April 2020. In the third quarter of 2021, fears related to money had replaced morbidity.

Noting that “consumers are now more worried about the impact of the pandemic on the economy than the impact it will have on their health,” nearly 30% of respondents to this Pandenomics survey cited economic concerns. as their big worry, not to catch (or die) from COVID. .

“Consumer fears about the pandemic have changed a lot since the initial outbreak,” the report said, noting that 62% of all consumers were “very” or “extremely” worried about the continued impact of the pandemic on the epidemic. American economy. “This compares to 48% of consumers who say they feel ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their health. Social concerns rank third in the minds of consumers, with 44% of them saying they are “very” or “extremely” concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their social life. “

With the omicron variant throwing a wrench into planning again, the digital transformation of everyday life is so advanced that we ended the year talking a lot about the metaverse – at least one ‘place’ we know where COVID will never be. a preoccupation .

See also: What consumers are saying about reopening the physical world – and what it means for businesses

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: AUTHENTICATION OF IDENTITIES IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY – DECEMBER 2021

On:More than half of American consumers think biometric authentication methods are faster, more convenient, and more reliable than passwords or PINs, so why are less than 10% using them? PYMNTS, working with Mitek, surveyed over 2,200 consumers to better define this perception gap in usage and identify ways in which businesses can increase usage.


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