Initially, travel in Stockholm did slow down despite the city not having a full lockdown in place. According to the Citymapper Mobility Index, the number of people travelling around the city dropped by 70% from March 8 to April 27.
In comparison, cities that went into Lockdown, like London, New York, and Copenhagen, saw drops of 90%, 95%, and 88% respectively. This suggests that formal lockdowns were more efficient than informal encouragements at reducing people’s movement.
But, as some restrictions have been lifted, we’ve seen consumers more willing to leave their homes. Since April 27, travel in Stockholm has increased by 36%. This is in comparison to London, New York, and Copenhagen, which have seen mobility increases of 14%, 18%, and 19% respectively from April 27 to June 7.
Stockholm’s much higher movement rate could indicate that as consumers practice being out in a socially distanced world, they’re becoming more at ease with the ‘new normal’.
While movement is increasing, fear is still palpable. Using our Consumer Research platform, we found hundreds of thousands of people worried about catching Covid-19 while out and about. Since April 27, there have been 281k English-language mentions about catching the virus on public transport, while there have been 196k referencing others not wearing masks while going about their daily business.
Meanwhile, a recent survey we conducted looked at how confident consumers were in returning to public spaces. We found that people were most hesitant about events like concerts, but were more at ease with the idea of visiting beaches and stores.
The world is still taking its first steps in returning to normal, and each country will go at its own pace. For consumers within those countries, there are many concerns at play which could affect their decisions to return to different businesses in person. Brands planning for the coming months must listen closely to fears and worries and do what they can to mitigate them to get people back through their doors.
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Brandwatch Response Team