Report details the evolving impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior

by | Aug 24, 2021


Recent research finds about 45 percent of consumers increased online grocery shopping during COVID-19, with 30 percent shopping less in-store, indicating convenience and safety remain important considerations for consumers even into the future according to Acosta, a global integrated sales and marketing firm headquartered in Jacksonville.

Acosta, which works primarily with the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industry, released its latest COVID-19 Shopper Insights report today. Entitled COVID-19 Shopper Insights: Which Habits Are Sticking?, the report examines pandemic-related shopping behaviors that are continuing to impact the CPG industry as COVID-19 evolves.

“COVID-19 has significantly impacted consumer behavior and accelerated trends we were seeing prior to March 2020,” said Colin Stewart, Executive Vice President, Business Intelligence at Acosta. “While many believe we’re headed towards normalcy, it is highly likely that certain pandemic-related shopping habits, particularly consumers’ reliance on eCommerce, are here to stay. Shoppers have become accustomed to ordering groceries online or through subscription services, with contact-free pickup or delivery options. As we move into a new phase of the pandemic, these grocery shopping channels will remain significant, as will consumers’ increasing focus on product availability, low prices and promotions, whether they are shopping in-store or online.”

According to Acosta’s research, about 45 percent of consumers increased their online grocery shopping during the pandemic.
Forty percent of online shoppers are using online pickup and 46 percent are using online delivery more than they did pre-pandemic. Thirty percent of online shoppers are shopping less at grocery stores than they were pre-pandemic.Thirty-five percent of online shoppers are shopping less at mass merchandise stores than they were pre-pandemic.

The majority of shoppers place their online grocery orders on computers or tablets. Millennial and Gen Z shoppers are the most likely to use their phones for online grocery purchases (40 percent).

Online shoppers across all generations report that home delivery is their online fulfillment method of choice. A large portion of Gen Z and Millennial shoppers also value subscription services (40 percent).

Forty-five percent of all shoppers prefer home delivery as their fulfillment method of choice, 28 percent prefer curbside pickup and 17 percent will pick up inside the store.

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