Survey: Amazon frustrates many shoppers during COVID-19 pandemic

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Online competitors of Amazon may have an opportunity in the COVID-19 crisis.

According to the Consumers & Commerce 2020 Coronavirus Trends Report from e-commerce platform Yotpo, 65% of respondents using Amazon said they couldn't get everything (33%) or anything (32%) they really needed from the retailer. And if an item is out of stock, 41% of respondents will turn to a less familiar brand to help meet their need.

Looking beyond Amazon, the survey finds that 43% of respondents plan to do more of their shopping online, but 32% are shifting to completely buying online rather than shopping in physical stores. Leading product categories for online purchase include food (79%), health and wellness products (42%), and household cleaning supplies (35%).

With food prioritized at the forefront, 46% of consumers are purchasing non-perishable items such as canned goods and other pantry staples like beans and rice. If the pandemic disruption continues, half of consumers (51%) say they plan to cook more often.

In the health & wellness and household categories, consumers are buying more personal sanitizers (40%), medical care items such as thermometers (23%), and other wellness items like vitamins, superfoods, or CBD products (22%). While 31% of consumers said they were buying more toilet paper, they also noted they were focused on buying water, camping gear, frozen food, beer, and liquor.

The survey also examined how consumers are responding to marketing during the pandemic. More than one-third (36%) of respondents are starting to pay more attention to brand marketing (via email, SMS, social ads, etc.). Consumers are watching brands and their messages closely, as 80% of consumers are looking to maintain spend (23%) or spend less (57%) because of the pandemic.

Yotpo's Consumers & Commerce 2020 Coronavirus Trends Report presents findings from a survey of 2,000 U.S., Canadian, and U.K. consumers ages 14 - 73 administered via Pollfish on March 17, 2020.