10 Stats to Know About Shifting Shopper Habits

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, the effects on people across the globe linger. Not only has it caused a major health crisis, but it has had major economic ramifications and changed the way we go about our daily lives. Below, we take a look at consumer sentiment and behavior from the past six months to understand the shifting shopper landscape.


US shopper habits are evolving rapidly in 2020


  1. In a global survey by Dynata, every country and generation has showed an increase in adoption of contactless payment methods relative to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, the United States reported a 19% increase in adoption, the highest of any country.


  1. Though the U.S. is still well below the global average in terms of use of contactless payment methods, it’s clear that they’re here to stay. According to an EY survey, 57% of respondents have stopped using cash due to fears of virus transmission. Twenty percent of respondents to that same survey expect that trend to continue and plan on making more contactless payments in the future.


  1. Ecommerce has thrived during the pandemic, as well, with 84% of consumers saying they’ve been shopping online. As we mentioned earlier this summer, online groceries have been one such area of growth within ecommerce, and the convenience of getting groceries delivered has led to a 41% increase in the number of customers buying online.


  1. Other categories seeing significant growth in customers buying online during the pandemic include over-the-counter medicine (+44%), household supplies (+38%), personal care products (+38%), and alcohol (+34%).


  1. The National Retail Federation reports that the Baby Boomer generation, roughly defined as those between the ages of 56 and 74, has been joining in on the fun, as well. Forty-five percent of Boomers have been shopping online more, with personal care, pet supplies, clothing, and groceries being the areas where their habits have changed the most.


  1. Boomers, in particular, have shown a preference for buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) options. Two-thirds of Boomers have tried BOPIS, and of those who have tried it, 63% said it improved the overall shopping experience. The most common BOPIS methods that they have used include register pickup (58%), curbside pickup (30%), trunk delivery (20%), and using a locker code (10%).


  1. Regardless of method, the vast majority of Boomers found the BOPIS experience to be convenient. The top reasons for using it? Sixty-two percent do it to avoid paying shipping, while others turn to it because of social distancing (62%), because they need something right away (31%), or because they receive a discount (23%).


  1. In general, the pandemic has forced shoppers to become much more deliberate about their plans. Whether buying online or in-person, shoppers are making lists (43%), researching products online (40%), price comparing across retailers (36%), and actively looking for sale items (36%). Shopping has become more of a task than an opportunity for discovery.


  1. Despite the shift towards ecommerce, many shoppers still miss the store. Respondents to a recent shopper survey by Momentum indicate that the most missed channels include clothing/shoe stores (75%), grocery stores (74%), home goods stores (66%), electronics stores (61%), bookstores (59%), and the liquor store (43%), among others.


  1. What do they miss most about the shopping experience? Most of all, people miss the opportunity to spend time with friends and family (83%), while others miss being able to touch/feel products (79%), casually browsing (77%), or hunting for a great deal (77%).


Is your brand looking to connect with shoppers this holiday season and beyond? Contact us today to learn how our suite of experiential-led services can help you build brand awareness, encourage trial, and earn lifelong loyalists.




Sources: “How COVID-19 is Impacting Boomers’ Shopping Behavior.” National Retail Federation (2020), “COVID-19 Shopper and Retail Pulse Survey.” Momentum (2020), “The Great Consumer Shift: Ten Charts that Show how U.S. Shopping Behavior is Changing.” McKinsey (2020), “Four Ways COVID-19 is Reshaping Consumer Banking Behavior. EY (2020), “A Breakthrough for Contactless Payments.” Dynata (2020).

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