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The Current State of Shopping Activity

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing consumer shopping and spending habits.

There is an increased interest in items like medical masks, household maintenance masks, as well as hand sanitizers. According to research conducted by Nielsen, the product product sales growth for medical masks increased to 319% from 78% in the four weeks leading up to Feb. 22. For household maintenance masks, their sales growth skyrocketed from 179% to 262%. As for hand sanitizer, it increased from 54% to 73% in just those four weeks. 

While consumers deemed such items as important to the current situation, the travel industry suffered from a loss in sales. For instance, a survey by GlobalWebIndex found that while 41% of respondents delayed their purchases for holidays and vacations, 26% of them delayed the purchase of flight tickets. For movie theatres, it was at 20%. 

In another study, this time by Coresigh Research, it was found that 41.9% of U.S. individuals avoided going to the theatres. Meanwhile, 66.6% of the respondents indicated that they will avoid the theatres as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens. In terms of the avoidance with regards to shopping malls and stores in general, those percentages pertained to 47.2% and 32.7% respectively.

Along with measures and practices of social distancing at the forefront of consumers’ minds, these varying levels of interest in items are affecting the brick-and-mortar retail and ecommerce industries. While brick-and-mortar businesses suffer through revenue loss, the interest in ecommerce is increasing. 

For instance, along with the proliferation of online activities due to the need to stay at home, Amazon is experiencing a high volume of online orders. On the Amazon website, it stated how the company is working hard to maintain priority items and deliver them to customers. Due to the high demand of particular items, the time of delivery may be delayed. 

“We are working with our selling partners to temporarily prioritize household staples, medical supplies and other high demand products coming into our fulfillment centres so we can more quickly receive, restock and ship these products to customers,” the statement read. 

Amazon also acknowledged the increase in online shopping. As a response, the company changed its processes that deal with logistics, transportation, purchasing, third party sellers, and the supply chain. The goal of this change is to prioritize stocking and delivering high-demand items to customers. 

In terms of brick-and-mortar stores and their likelihood of being able to bounce back after the COVID-19 is over, research by Business Insider Intelligence found that 62.5% of U.S. adults believed they will visit physical stores to shop for goods after COVID-19 gets resolved. While 16.7% of those respondents said they would shop at these stores more often, 20.9% stated they would visit them less often.  

For retailers, the majority indicated that they would expect customers to resume their shopping activities as normal in one to three months after COVID-19. However, closely following behind was 35% of the respondents who said they expected individuals to start shopping as normal between three to six months afraid COVID-19 gets resolved. 

In addition, the study by Narvar and Forrester found that 15% pertained to six to 12 months, while 8% of retailers were skeptical and believed consumers would start shopping again as usual again after more than 12 months. The remaining 2% pertained to the more hopeful respondents who expected individuals to return to shopping as usual in less than a month. 

Whether your business is a brick-and-mortar store, an online one, or a mix of both, knowing the latest industry trends is important to your long-term business strategy. The Find Your Audience team is ready to help your business stay up-to-date in these matters through in-depth market research. Using data and performance-based results, the team works closely with clients across the globe to ensure that their business goals are met and that they are always staying on the right track.

To start working with a team of professionals and experts, call 647-479-0688 or email

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