Ware2Go, a UPS (NYSE:UPS) company that helps merchants simplify fast delivery to customers, announced new research results from its recent survey of American consumer habits during the coronavirus pandemic. Some 87% of Americans are taking up new activities due to shelter-in-place directives being implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Given that a majority of Americans are sheltering at home, shopping habits have changed. Recent survey data from Ware2Go shows that 87% of Americans are now shopping online, and 64% say they’re replacing weekly shopping trips with online ordering.
In fact, some 55% of Americans have purchased items online from websites and retailers they have never shopped with before. Today’s “new normal” has precipitated an acceleration in online shopping that presents a new supply chain landscape for merchants. In the face of shifting purchasing channels, companies should be prepared to deliver goods to wholesalers, retailers and eCommerce consumers seamlessly, scaling with demand, as part of a new B2E (Business to Everyone) paradigm. B2E requires a scalable supply chain that integrates operations, logistics, and fast shipping capabilities for maximum flexibility.
“Ware2Go’s tech-forward fulfillment solution enables merchants to seamlessly pivot between B2B and B2C orders to meet the new standards of the B2E economy and streamline fast fulfillment to all customers,” says Steve Denton, CEO of Ware2Go. “The recent acceleration in eCommerce order mix has created a new level of complexity for merchants, requiring the ability to adapt fulfillment to shifts in consumer demand quickly,” he commented. “Today and going forward, a dynamic business requires a dynamic supply chain. As customers adopt a new approach to shopping, businesses must adopt a new approach to their supply chain.”
Work, Schooling, Cooking, Exercise, and Pets: Key Drivers for Online Shopping
Americans’ willingness to try new brands during the lockdown spans product categories, as some 61% have tried new grocery brands, 34% have tried new vitamin and supplement brands, and 28% are trying new pet supply brands. Many consumers are seeking to stock up for new work-from-home and home schooling duties, as well as hobbies like cooking, exercising and engaging with their pets.
According to new survey data, more than two-thirds of employed Americans (67%) are working from home, and 51% have children being home schooled. The shift to working remotely, along with home schooling, has meant that consumers need office and school supplies delivered to their doorsteps. Some 57% of workers say they have what they need to work from home, and 87% of Americans think they’re fairly well equipped for home schooling. But supplemental work and school needs are driving online purchasing, as 30% of consumers say they are buying related supplies. The top items needed are pens, pencils, paper, and notebooks (49%), books (44%), and tech tools like computers or tablets (42%).
During off-work hours, the most popular quarantine activity is cooking (48%). And 77% of Americans are purchasing food items online. Some 81% of consumers say they are learning to cook or are cooking at home more frequently during the quarantine.
Some 61% are trying new grocery brands, and internal data from Ware2Go shows that eCommerce shipments of food and beverage items have increased up to 151% overall since the beginning of the pandemic.
Healthy habits remain a top-of-mind concern, as a popular lockdown activity is exercising, at 42% overall. More men (49%) are taking it up than women (36%), and exercise was the most popular pastime for Gen Z, at 52%. According to Ware2Go’s internal data, vitamin and supplement brands have seen an increase of up to 45% in eCommerce shipment volume during the pandemic, and 42% of consumers polled have started to purchase vitamins and supplements online, with 34% trying new supplement brands. With gyms being closed, home exercise equipment has become popular, with 17% of respondents purchasing new exercise equipment online.
Furry and feathered companions are driving online sales, too. Some 11% of consumers surveyed have adopted or purchased a pet during the pandemic, and 27% have practiced “retail therapy” by purchasing pet supplies. According to Ware2Go data, pet supply brands saw eCommerce order shipments increased by as much as 58%.
More About the Survey
This data is based on a study 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 highlights 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/