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Retail Industry Updates

Some COVID-19 Shopping Habits Aren’t Going Anywhere for the Foreseeable Future

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Contactless payment is a shopping habit that will continue in the post-pandemic world. (iStock/by sonmez)

Consumers picked up several new shopping and eating behaviors during the pandemic. But even though COVID-19 cases are declining and vaccinations are progressing by the day, many consumers plan to continue their new shopping and eating behaviors in the post-pandemic world, according to a report from Acosta, an integrated sales and marketing services provider in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry.

Acosta’s latest COVID-19 shopper insights study reveals that while the pandemic concern level is finally on the decline, shoppers acknowledge it will be a long time before things return to normal.

“With vaccines rolling out, our latest shopper research shows COVID-19 concern levels may finally be waning, with current concern at 7.5 out of 10 — the lowest level reported since early March 2020,” said Colin Stewart, executive vice president of Business Intelligence at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Acosta. “Even still, consumers realize there is a long road ahead. Thirty-five percent of shoppers think ‘normal’ is more than a year away. Many behaviors developed during the pandemic will be here to stay. Post-COVID-19, 75% of consumers plan to stick with at least some of their new habits.”

Here’s what Acosta learned when it asked consumers about their shopping intentions post-COVID-19:

• 21% of shoppers reported they will go back to their pre-pandemic habits.

• 59% said they will continue with some of their new habits.

• 16% said they will continue with all or most of their new habits

• 16% said they are not sure what they will do.

• Post-pandemic, top priorities for shoppers will be: product availability (60%), low prices (52%) and customer safety (42%).

Acosta found that consumers changed their shopping and eating behaviors drastically in 2020. According to the study:

• 65% of shoppers reported cooking more at home.

• 53% reported spending less time in stores.

• 50% reported stocking up on food/cleaning supplies.

• 48% reported spending more money per shopping trip.

• 40% reported more online shopping.

Acosta said it gathered its research via online surveys between Dec. 30, 2020, and Jan. 4.

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