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Salesforce: E-commerce will stay elevated post-pandemic

Consumers plan to make fewer online purchases once COVID-19 has passed, but will still buy online more than they did before the pandemic.

According to a new survey of 501 U.S. consumers from Salesforce, respondents estimate they are making 51% of their purchases online during the pandemic, compared to 30% before it began. Post-pandemic, respondents expect to make 40% of their purchases online.

In other signs that the increased popularity digital commerce has received in the past year will not completely dissipate, 93% of respondents have used contactless payment options during the pandemic and expect to continue using them post-pandemic. And nearly 70% of respondents expect personalized, connected experiences.

Looking at some broader consumer trends, Salesforce found that close to three-quarters (73%) of respondents would be enticed to switch brands from one to another during shopping for a competitor which demonstrated better understanding of their needs and expectations. Almost two-thirds (64%) would do so for a competing brand that demonstrated more guardianship of their personal information.

Compared to 2020, 42% of respondents plan to spend more on travel compared to 2020. 33% plan to spend more on restaurants and bars, 21% plan to spend more on home furnishings/décor, 17% plan to spend more on clothing and apparel, 11% plan to spend more on health and beauty supplies and services, and 8% plan to spend more on electronics.

Salesforce also found that daily U.S. spending rose 81% between April 1-15, following the March 27 signing of the CARES Act which authorized the third round of federal stimulus payments.

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