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Last updated September 16th, 2020

Community mobility trends

As small-business owners and operators in the United States make decisions about reopening their brick-and-mortar locations, some are looking for indicators or trends in consumer behavior to help inform their decisions. Following is anonymized mobility data collected by Google. According to Google, these data track “movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.”

Please note that the data should not be used as a comprehensive or absolute representation of mobility around the country. To learn more about the data, visit Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports Help. Small-business owners and operators should look to local official sources to understand consumer and community sentiment and behavior in their towns and cities.

Mobility trends during COVID-19

Y-axis highlights the percentage change in visits within the geographic area.


As you look at the above chart, filtered to your location, consider:

  • How has overall movement changed in my area recently?
  • How have specific types of movement changed in my area recently? Look at changes in movement for retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, transit stations, and workplaces.

If you notice increased movement in your area, think through the potential implications for your business. Check back to see changes over time; the data are updated daily. Make sure to compare what you find here against the activity you observe in your neighborhood and city. Above all, be sure to follow official local government guidance to keep yourself, your employees, your customers, and the broader community safe. Once you have consulted official guidance, explore these additional resources: Considering reopening and Preparing to reopen.

If movement in your area seems unchanged or remains low, and you are considering taking your business online, here are some approaches to get you started.

The steps and resources listed are representative rather than exhaustive and are current as of date of publication. Please note that McKinsey & Company does not endorse any of the listed websites or their sponsors. The contents of this site, including any statements, articles, graphics, charts, checklists, and other materials (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice or to constitute medical or legal advice.