The widespread restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic changed shopping behavior dramatically with many people stocking up on hand sanitizers and toilet papers, while shelters across the US are running out of pets to adopt as consumers take comfort in a new companion, said a new report.
While traffic to food delivery platforms dropped, online retailers saw a huge jump in shipping in certain products, according to the report from global advertising and marketing agency Grey.
“Traffic to online retailers began rising as more news concerning the spread of the coronavirus began to become more mainstream,” said the report, adding that shoppers quickly shifted to online grocery platforms to stock up on groceries for the household.
“Simultaneously, food delivery apps saw a decline as stock up buying, the desire to limit interactions and concerns over the economy/where people spend money began to rise,” it added.
For food, shoppers stocked up on shelf-stable products that lend themselves well to long-haul keeping in the pantry.
Top categories of growth in the US were pasta soup, macaroni and cheese, canned vegetables, canned fruits, salty snacks, and dried meat snacks.
Brands had to make sure there were products for consumers to buy by increasing production and determining how to keep production facilities operating.
“In the short term, shoppers are balancing emotional and rational behaviors when making purchase decisions. This balance is affecting the brands they choose, where they buy, and what they buy,” said the report.
At the same time, product scarcity is affecting brand loyalty with shoppers resorting to buying whatever products they can find when trying to make a purchase.
As shoppers are deprived of so much outside of the home, they are investing in small indulgences with food and entertainment to drive comfort, said the report.
The research also revealed that due to the COVID-19 restrictions, online purchases of games and streaming services, fitness equipment and vitamins and supplements also increased considerably.