Ware2Go has announced results from a research study of American consumers’ shopping patterns in the era of the coronavirus pandemic. Over 1,000 consumers were surveyed in April 2020 to learn more about e-commerce and retail shopping, particularly related to social distancing practices during COVID-19. The survey also explored how shopping preferences are changing and buyers are seeking out new products as well as shopping and delivery experiences during COVID-19.
Consumers have made a dramatic shift, as 88% report their shopping habits have changed due to the pandemic. Some 87% of respondents are shopping online, and 64% state they have replaced traditional weekly shopping trips with online ordering. More than half (53%) say they are ordering takeout or delivery to support small businesses, and 33% are “tipping more than usual.”
As consumers rapidly move online, new shopping patterns are emerging. Some 58% of Americans browse online retailers daily, and 39% plan to continue online shopping to avoid visiting stores. More than half (55%) say they’re purchasing from online retailers they’ve never shopped with before, and many are buying a broader range of products. Some 61% are buying groceries, and 45% are purchasing clothing, while 34% of consumers are buying vitamins and supplements online. Some 28% are buying pet supplies, and 56% of those purchasing pet supplies are buying food and treats.
However, the rush to online shopping has stressed the supply chain. Some 69% of consumers have experienced shipping delays, and 83% say they’ve experienced items being out of stock. Consequently, shoppers have concerns about sourcing needed items, particularly high-demand personal care and cleaning products. Some 85% of respondents are concerned that costs for consumer goods will rise amid the global pandemic, and 36% of consumers are stocking up for shortages.
While stores are closed, consumers are embracing online shopping as “retail therapy,” with 60% saying that they’re practicing retail therapy during isolation.
Much of the purchasing patterns across new online sellers and categories take the form of direct-to-consumer sales. As a result, merchants are finding themselves pivoting from the business-to-business (B2B) paradigm to the B2E (business to everyone) model, with unique shipping, logistics and fulfillment requirements. According to Steve Denton, CEO of Ware2Go, COVID-19 has accelerated a shift that was already underway. “If you are selling now, your business is B2E,” he said.