Pandemic shopping trends changed lives, both personally and professionally, all over the world. Although we have an idea about which shopping trends will or will not continue, one thing is certain. COVID forced people to think differently about needed goods and services and how to get them. This is especially true when it comes to the role of technology. Hundreds of years of ingrained habits, especially in-person shopping, changed in less than four months. Let’s look at how the pandemic specifically changed shopping trends, some maybe permanently.
Pandemic behaviors included a renewed focus on health and safety. That can be seen as hand sanitizer sales continue to go up in record numbers. Shoppers also continue to purchase large amounts of products that keep their homes clean and families healthy, including cleaning supplies and plenty of soap.
People over places
As more and more people get vaccinated and support the idea of vaccine passports, they are looking to get out and about. But they’re prioritizing visits to see loved ones rather than planning international leisure trips. With many businesses easing their restrictions, this also encourages people to make more plans. These plans are about getting together with loved ones to socialize more than anything else. That seems to be a lasting priority.
At-home cooking continues
When restaurants shut down, buying fresh ingredients to cook at home became a pandemic shopping norm. Families became more interested in healthy cooking and quickly realized they were saving money, too. Home cooking continues to be a cost-effective and healthy solution. It also provides grocery stores with a steady stream of customers.
Selective retail spending
No doubt, some shoppers will return to in-store visits. At the same time, online shopping is expected to continue growing in popularity. Pandemic shopping trends introduced a hybrid retail shopping model that shows many shoppers visit local grocers in person but also shop online when the need arises.
Shoppers overwhelmingly prefer this secure method of purchasing. They pay for products or services using a debit card, credit card, smartphone, or other RFID payment device. Customers simply tap or insert a payment card on their own after going through a check-out process. There may or may not be a cashier, but cash is not exchanged.
According to Retail Customer Experience, “More than three-quarters, 85.9%, of consumers plan to continue shopping as they had during the COVID-19 pandemic year despite the fact more retail stores are open in the post-pandemic retail environment.”
In short, the pandemic changed how Americans live and shop. One major item seems to indicate that. Now, no matter where the shopper lives, they can find the goods and services they need. And e-commerce and contactless payments are a permanent part of the process. Many consumers view these pandemic shopping trends as positive changes. They’re likely to continue them, even when the pandemic ends and a new normal replaces the old.