Press Release | September 23, 2020

Telehealth, Travel, Ecommerce Spending to Grow Post-Pandemic, Says CTA

Riya Anandwala

A new Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® study shows U.S. consumer spending on leisure travel and online retail products, and use of telehealth services will continue or grow after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. The study, Future of Consumer Behavior Amid COVID-19, examines what U.S. adults’ spending habits will be and the lasting impacts of the pandemic – including when Americans expect a return to normal life.

“Our research provides a view of what the ‘new normal’ will look like and the major role technology will play,” said Steve Koenig, VP, research, CTA. “Even as the pandemic winds down, ‘no contact’ tech innovations – tap payments, touchless displays – will still be popular, because consumers value their convenience and safety. And trends including use of remote health services, popularity of in-home fitness technology and shopping online will continue to grow.”

The study finds more than 90% of consumers say daily life will return to normal once one or more conditions are met such as the creation of a vaccine (56%), no new cases of infection (53%) and lifting of requirements to wear masks (50%).

Technology Adoption

  • Half of consumers (51%) who used contactless delivery or payment methods before the pandemic are likely to use the technologies more often after the pandemic subsides.

  • Among patients who used telehealth or remote services for mental health prior to the pandemic, three in five (59%) are more likely to use the services afterward. 

  • More than half (53%) of consumers are more likely to use their at-home connected exercise equipment than before the pandemic began.

  • One-quarter of consumers will keep using restaurant curbside pickup (27%), retail curbside pickup (24%) and touchless in-store displays (23%) once the pandemic ends.

  • One-third will use ridesharing (36%), taxis (34%) and public transportation (32%) less frequently than before the pandemic; 40% will walk more frequently than before.

Spending Behaviors

  • Ordering products online will be consumers’ top retail activity when the pandemic is over, and most (69%) expect to start buying immediately.

  • Half (53%) of consumers don’t expect their average spending to change once the outbreak ends; 24% will spend more on travel, food, fashion and entertainment.

  • While 57% of consumers will spend about the same amount on consumer technology products as they did pre-pandemic, one-in-five (15%) indicate they will spend more.

  • Thirty-eight percent of consumers will spend more on leisure travel-related activities whereas 30% will spend less than before the pandemic. Only 16% will spend more on travel related to business.

This quantitative study, designed and formulated by CTA, was administered to an online sample of 2000 U.S. adult respondents (ages 18+) between July 15 and 29, 2020.