Survey: Customers take care of themselves during pandemic

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Top online categories during the COVID-19 crisis include personal care products. 

According to an April 2020 survey of 1,091 U.S. adults from digital ad-blocking technology platform Namogoo, a leading 55% of respondents said they have purchased personal care products online since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Household items (not electronics) closely followed at 51%, with 47% having bought clothing/accessories and another 47% having purchased food. About one-third (32%) have bought other supermarket items online, and about one-fifth (19%) have purchased gifts/luxury items.

The survey also asked respondents what items have they bought online for the first time since the start of the outbreak? By far the most popular response (41%) was food, followed by other supermarket items (23%), personal care products (23%), household items (not electronics) (20%), clothing/accessories (19%), electronics (17%), and gifts/luxury items (15%).

Interestingly, 28% of respondents expected to spend no money for online groceries in April 2020. 17% each expected to spend up to $50, $50-$100, and $100-$200. Sixteen percent expected to spend $200 to $500, while only 5% expected to spend over $500.

After the COVID-19 outbreak is over, a solid 43% plurality of respondents expect their online grocery spending to stay the same. Another 15% expect online grocery spending to increase slightly and 7% expect it to increase greatly. Equal percentages (18%) expect their online grocery spending to decrease slightly and decrease greatly post-COVID-19.

As of April, a leading 39% of respondents said they most often shop online via mobile website, followed by PC website (30%) and mobile app (27%). The remainder don’t shop online (4%) or use other means (1%).

The element with the most impact on online purchases is clearly price, cited by 51% of respondents. About one in five (21%) respondents is most impacted by fast, convenient delivery, followed by product/brand reputation (14%), online store/brand reputation (8%), and website user-friendliness (7%).

When asked if they would click on an injected ad for a lower-priced alternative while shopping online, respondents were generally receptive. Thirty-five percent would probably click on an injected ad, 33% would maybe click, and 19% would definitely click. Ten percent would probably not click and only 4% would definitely not click.