Survey reveals changing buying patterns
Online shoppers are buying from more sellers and in more product categories amid shelter in place orders and social distancing practices, according to a survey by Ware2Go, a UPS (NYSE:UPS) company that helps merchants simplify fast delivery to customers. More than half (55%) say they’re purchasing from online retailers they’ve never shopped with before and buying a broader range of products: 61% buying groceries, 45% purchasing clothing, and 34% buying vitamins and supplements online.
As stores closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping soared with new shopping patterns emerging. Some 87% of respondents are shopping online, and 64% state they have replaced traditional weekly shopping trips with online ordering.
Changing shopping patterns with new online sellers and categories primarily stem from direct-to-consumer sales. As a result, merchants are finding themselves pivoting from the business-to-business (B2B) to a B2E (business to everyone) model, with unique shipping, logistics and fulfillment requirements.
"COVID-19 has accelerated a shift that was already underway," said Steve Denton, CEO of Ware2Go. "If you are selling now, your business is B2E. Merchants need a partner to manage the surge in consumer sales, with a flexible fulfillment solution to seamlessly pivot between B2B shipments and B2C e-commerce deliveries as demand fluctuates."
Ware2Go provides small and medium sized businesses with cost-efficient access to industry-leading warehousing, fulfillment, technology and financial services so they can optimize their logistics, compete, scale and grow. Ware2Go™ services help enable smaller merchants to maximize the efficiency of their entire supply chain and develop high-functioning distribution networks to reach e-commerce customers across the US.
Shopping concerns abound
The survey asked more than 1,000 consumers about e-commerce and retail shopping related to social distancing practices during COVID-19. The survey also explored how shopping preferences are changing with buyers seeking out new products as well as shopping and delivery experiences during the pandemic.
Shoppers also reported concerns about locating needed items such as personal care and cleaning products. Some 83% experienced out-of-stock items. Respondents also expressed fear that products such as hand sanitizer, toilet paper and N95 masks will be in short supply for the next six months or more. Consequently, 85% of respondents shared 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." Some 28% are buying pet supplies, and 56% of those purchasing pet supplies are buying food and treats. The most popular items with shoppers include:
- Clothing – 39%
- Skincare products – 33%
- Cooking supplies – 32%
- Pet supplies – 27%
More About the Survey
Conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of Ware2Go in April 2020, the survey polled over 1,000 U.S. consumers about their online shopping habits and preferences and any changes to their behavior due to the coronavirus pandemic. An infographic showcasing survey findings is available from Ware2Go.
Ware2Go, a UPS Company, operates a turnkey nationwide fulfillment network designed to help merchants easily position products closer to end customers for a fast, inexpensive and reliable order-to-delivery experience. Ware2Go offers an integrated solution for storage, pick, pack, and shipping services to businesses of all sizes through an intuitive cloud-based technology platform that makes it easy to extend your distribution footprint and scale up and down as your operational needs change. Ware2Go simplifies nationwide fulfillment to help you meet your customers' needs and expectations. For more information, visit http://www.ware2go.co/
Bospar for Ware2Go