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Survey: Online shopping, customer concerns rise during pandemic

COVID-19 is creating new e-commerce patterns and anxieties among consumers.

According to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers from UPS subsidiary Ware2Go, more than half (55%) of respondents say they’re purchasing from online retailers they’ve never shopped with before. Almost nine in 10 (87%) of respondents are shopping online, and 64% have replaced traditional weekly shopping trips with online ordering.

Respondents are also buying a broader range of products online during the COVID-19 pandemic: 61% are buying groceries, 45% purchasing clothing, and 34% buying vitamins and supplements online.

In addition, respondents reported concerns about locating needed items such as personal care and cleaning products. More than eight in 10 (83%) experienced out-of-stock items, 85% of respondents reported concern that costs for consumer goods will rise amid the global pandemic, and 36% of consumers are stocking up for shortages.

Consumers are also embracing online shopping as therapy, with 60% of respondents saying they’re practicing retail therapy during isolation. Some 58% of respondents browse online retailers daily, and 39% plan to continue online shopping to avoid visiting stores. More than half (53%) say they are ordering takeout or delivery to support small businesses, and 33% are “tipping more than usual.” Almost thee in 10 (28%) are buying pet supplies, and 56% of those purchasing pet supplies are buying food and treats. 

The most popular items respondents are purchasing online include:
•    Clothing – 39%
•    Skincare products – 33%
•    Cooking supplies – 32%
•    Pet supplies – 27%

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