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How user behaviour has changed during the Covid crisis (and what you can do about it)

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The Covid crisis has changed many things about how we live and work - WFH, digital healthcare and holiday destinations to name but a few.

Here at Zuko, we were interested in whether, since lockdown, consumers have changed their behaviour when they open up your online form or checkout. We looked at data from across hundreds of our clients and uncovered these intriguing insights.

Massive swings in traffic numbers

Perhaps the most obvious of our findings; Covid-19 has drastically changed the demand for certain products and this is reflected in the numbers arriving at online forms. Take a look at this graph for one of our B2B financial services clients. We can see that from the start of lockdown at the end of March user numbers have declined by over 50% from pre-lockdown levels.


Conversely, many of our e-Commerce clients have seen the opposite effect with traffic and new customers spiking. The below example shows that, while there was a drop-off at the start of lockdown, as customers got more used to the situation they were more open to purchasing goods and services online.

Conversions have not been as affected as you might think

If your business is in the former category and has seen fewer people visiting your forms than previously, all is not lost. We have seen that visitors in many categories tend to be much more focused in their behaviour and proportionately more likely to convert than prior to the crisis.

One of our more extreme examples is below. Prior to the crisis, conversion rate was oscillating between 10-20%. Now it is up at a staggering 80%. Many of our customers have seen a drastic drop in overall traffic but total orders coming through to fulfilment have held up well.


We have seen this phenomenon across our client base, but what is causing it? Based on our analysis, we believe you should consider these factors:

Which of these (or other) factors applies to your forms? Luckily Zuko can help you work that out with our custom attributes functionality. Segment your visitors based on any tracking you use elsewhere (media source, browser, demographics and many more) meaning that you can look at individual groups to see who is converting and how they are using your forms differently.

Users are taking more time to make their decisions

Users never read the terms and conditions right? Wrong. Maybe this was the case before Covid but now we see customers taking time to pick through the smallprint to make their decision.


The below graph shows the behaviour on the terms and conditions page for one of our financial clients. Those who end up successfully completing the form are taking more and more time to find what they are looking for before progressing. Interestingly, those who abandon the form at this stage are taking the same amount of time as they always have, perhaps indicative of their lack of seriousness in the first place.



This effect is especially pronounced in the insurance and travel sectors so we are pretty certain it is Covid driving it. Potential customers are reading on until they are sure that the Covid or lockdown related terms are satisfactory to them.

“All very interesting,” we hear you say. “But so what?”. Based on our analysis, there are three pieces of of advice that savvy marketers should take to heart:


  1. Optimising your form performance is a continual process not a one off

You may have, wisely, taken the time and effort to optimise conversion through your forms and checkouts using Zuko or another tool. However, what our analysis demonstrates is that circumstances are always changing and what was right yesterday may be suboptimal today.

Covid may be an extreme example but user behavioural change is happening all the time, whether related to seasonal, pricing or external factors and it is important that you track it continually to avoid being caught out.


  1. Segment, segment, segment

Topline analysis of user behaviour on your forms is very useful and can surface some glaring issues that need to be addressed. It is important not to just stop there, though. By using Zuko to analyse custom audiences you can see how different groups are reacting to changing circumstances and adapt accordingly (for example, whether older users are struggling to use certain parts of the form).


  1. Make it easy for customers to find what they want

We have seen that people are now prepared to hunt through the small print to find out exactly what your Covid policy is. Don’t bury it and risk them getting annoyed and dropping out. Make it easy for them by pulling it right to the top so they know where they stand and can make their decision to progress right away.

If you would like to know more, feel free to contact us on sales@zuko.io or sign up for a demo or trial



More from our blog:

How user behaviour has changed during the Covid crisis (and what you can do about it)
User behaviour in forms and checkouts has changed drastically since lockdown. We used our data to understand how it has changed and recommend what to do about it.
8 surprising form metric insights from Zuko’s benchmarking data
Some handpicked highlights from our benchmarking data that may surprise you
Asking about Disabilities and other Sensitive Information in Online Forms
Do you need to ask users some sensitive questions in your online form? Here are a few pointers.
Benchmarking - Deep Dive into eCommerce
We look in detail at purchase forms at the eCommerce sector and draw out some of the key stats for you, as well as learnings you can take from our becnhmarking data.
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