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Survey: COVID-19 continues affecting online shopping behavior

Consumers keep shifting their spending online for larger shopping trips as the pandemic continues.

According to a new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers from Blue Yonder, 82% of respondents say they are doing slightly or a lot more shopping online because of COVID-19. This is up from 74% in April and 57% in March.

The survey also indicates consumers are grocery shopping less often, but spending more per trip. Four in 10 respondents are grocery shopping less often than normal, compared to 25% who are shopping more often. Forty-six percent of respondents are making larger trips/online purchases to minimize time in store or delivery costs, and 44% are stocking up when products are available as opposed to waiting until they need them.

Examining issues involving online grocery delivery, the survey finds 56% of respondents have experienced grocery delivery delays, compared to 54% in April. However, there have been some improvements, as only 18% of respondents have experienced delays of three or more days, a 36% decrease compared to 28% in April. And only 7% have been unable to secure a delivery window, compared to 17% in April, a decrease of more than 40%.

In a troubling sign for grocery retailers counting on a strong Q4, the survey shows the number of people hosting a holiday gathering is dropping, and fewer are shopping in-store. Slightly more than half (52%) of respondents plan to host and grocery shop for a holiday celebration this season. This is a 32% drop from the 76% of respondents who grocery shopped for a holiday celebration in 2018.

Of respondents planning to host and grocery shop for a holiday celebration, nearly 40% are preparing for small gatherings with only three to five guests, 44% are preparing for medium-sized gatherings with six to 10 guests, and fewer than 20% are preparing for large gatherings with 10 or more guests.

Almost seven in 10 (68%) respondents that will grocery shop for the holidays this year plan to do so in-store. This is an 18% drop from 83% of respondents surveyed in 2018.

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