While the pandemic concern level is finally on the decline, shoppers acknowledge it will be a long time before things return to normal. Shopping and eating behaviors dramatically changed last year, and many shoppers plan to continue those new habits post-COVID-19, according to new research from integrated sales and marketing services provider Acosta.
“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. Even still, consumers realize there is a long road ahead. Thirty-five percent of shoppers think ‘normal’ is more than a year away,” said Colin Stewart, executive vice president of business intelligence at Acosta, in a news release. “What’s more, many behaviors developed during the pandemic will be here to stay. Post-COVID-19, 75 percent of consumers plan to stick with at least some of their new habits.”
The new research offers insights on the evolution of consumer behavior and outlook amid the pandemic, including:
Shopping and eating behavior changes caused by the pandemic
Shopper behaviors shifted drastically in 2020:
- Sixty-five percent of shoppers reported cooking more at home
- Fifty-three percent of shoppers reported spending less time in stores
- Fifty percent of shoppers reported stocking up on food/cleaning supplies
- Forty-eight percent of shoppers reported spending more money per shopping trip
- Forty percent of shoppers reported more online shopping
Post-pandemic shopping outlook
- When asked about their shopping intentions post-COVID-19:
- Twenty-one percent of shoppers reported they will go back to their pre-pandemic habits
- Fifty-nine percent of shoppers said they will continue with some of their new habits
- Sixteen percent of shoppers said they will continue with all or most of their new habits
- Four percent of shoppers are not sure what they will do
- Post-pandemic, top priorities for shoppers will be: product availability (60 percent), low prices (52 percent) and customer safety (42 percent).
Acosta’s research was gathered via online surveys using the company’s proprietary shopper community between December 30, 2020 and January 4, 2021. Acosta also released a 10-part COVID-19 shopper insights series in 2020, covering the evolution of consumer behavior and outlook amid the pandemic.