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Published May 6th 2020

Covid-19 and APAC: Hobbies and Creating Positive Experiences at Home

Remaining in the same environment day in, day out, is not ideal. But consumers are finding new ways to adapt and to create positive experiences while at home, and telling brands exactly what they want.

In Asia Pacific, restrictions on movement as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak are forcing people to come up with new ways to keep themselves occupied and their mental health stable.

With almost everything being shifted online, netizens are turning to social media to share and discuss their home experiences.

Using our Consumer Research platform, we studied how people in the region are talking about spending their time.

Looking at online mentions between April 1 – 26 2020, we found a number of activities people are discussing that are helping them through the crisis.

Home workouts is topping the chart, followed by baking, reading, spring cleaning, learning new skills, and then online shopping.

Let’s zoom in on a few of the above trends.

Home workouts

If there is one silver lining to the pandemic outbreak, it’s that individuals are turning into fitness enthusiasts. Whether it is due to their usual fitness centres being temporarily closed or that they are taking it up as a new activity, people are adapting to their new routines and working out at home.

Some are enjoying their indoor workouts so much that they are considering creating and keeping their home gyms for good.

While this does not sound ideal for fitness centres, it could be an opportunity to engage with those who have a new found love for fitness. Sharing more tutorial content or classes that empower these individuals to do their home workouts effectively and safely could be one way to get them on side.

Cooking and baking

With lengthy waits to get into grocery stores or to receive deliveries, access to good food can be a real challenge under lockdown. It’s never been more important to be able to create satisfying, nourishing meals with the ingredients on hand.

For many this is a great learning experience, and a positive one at that.

However, as some people get into the kitchen, they are bugged by constraints like lack of experience, trying out new recipes for the first time, and the need for alternative methods or ingredients when what they need isn’t available.

There’s a huge opportunity for brands and influencers to help here. Being able to share content that would help answer commonly asked questions online, or suggestions on alternative recipes/ingredients for differing expert levels, could potentially be hugely useful resources for consumers during this difficult period.

Some food professionals have already given us a window into their own kitchens – these personalities could be a great match for a brand looking to partner on useful cookery content.

Online shopping

With everything being shifted to online overnight, it’s not surprising that online shopping has been catapulted into complete overdrive. In APAC, online orders were up 82% year-on-year for the two weeks between March 22 and April 4, with consumers spending more time on the internet.

Some consumers are starting to recognize that they are spending too much on online shopping as a result of the outbreak.

Not all online shopping experiences are positive.

Delivery issues and a lack of stock for certain items are big topics in these conversations, but they’re also understandable in the situation we’re in.

Consumers are also getting overwhelmed by an influx of email newsletters by e-retailers.

So it’s a mixed story – consumers in APAC are very keen to be shopping online right now, but they’re also not afraid to call out substandard customer service and over-the-top promotion.

At this time, brands must be wary of the number of times they reach out to customers. They also need to keep communications on delivery, inventory, and other issues transparent and clear to help set expectations. Over promising is not advised, especially when bad brand communications and negative customer experiences are already being called out online

Covid-19 has imposed a challenging time on all of us, and it’s had a huge impact on consumer behavior. Brands will need to stay close to consumers to make sure their offerings serve customers in the best possible ways.

Brandwatch is providing a range of free resources to help you keep on top of how consumer behaviors, opinions, and preferences are changing throughout the pandemic. Access them here.

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