Rising levels of consumer boredom during the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on e-commerce shopping habits.
According to consumer poll data from Pitney Bowes, one in four respondents admit to shopping online because they are bored. Broken down generationally, this includes 48% of Gen Z respondents, 38% of millennials, 27% of Gen X, and 15% of boomers.
Bored shoppers are more likely than consumers overall to begin their online shopping journey on social media. Facebook indexes 15% higher as a starting point for bored shoppers, followed by Instagram (11% higher), Twitter (8% higher), and TikTok (4% higher). Major online platforms Google (5% higher) and Amazon (3%) higher are also popular with bored shoppers.
Popular product categories among bored online shoppers include:
- Household supplies (toilet paper, detergent, etc.): +30%
- Apparel (clothing, but not footwear or accessories): +17%
- Personal Care/Beauty/Nutraceuticals: +14%
- Toys/Hobbies/Gifts (games, DIY, crafts, etc.): +14%
- Accessories (bags, purses, belts, hats, etc.): +12%
- Consumer electronics (TVs, stereo systems, etc.): +11%
- Footwear: +9%
- Home goods/décor/improvement (furniture, decorations, building/garden supplies): +8%
- Jewelry (rings, necklaces, etc.): +6%
- Automotive (car/motorcycle/boat parts and supplies): +5%
- Food/beverage (groceries, meal kits, alcohol, etc.): +5%
- Office supplies (print/paper products, writing tools, home office): +5%
- Pet supplies (dog/cat food, accessories, etc.): +4%
Bored shoppers may not be turning to physical activity to cure their ennui. Sporting goods (sports equipment & specialty apparel, not including ‘athleisure’) actually indexed 3% lower among bored shoppers than shoppers overall.