As social distancing measures during the coronavirus crisis have caused people to increasingly rely on the ability to order products online, research from Commercial Café shows that 83% of respondents said that they are now planning to purchase products online — including groceries and pet food — that they would normally buy in-store.
According to survey results, before the pandemic, 32% of respondents ordered their groceries online, either having them delivered to their doorstep or picking them up from the store. However, as people try to limit time spent in crowded areas, the purchase of staple foods and other necessities has increasingly moved online. Now, as many as 69% of respondents ranked groceries among the top three classes of products that they are most likely to purchase online.
Another category of goods that consumers are increasingly buying through e-commerce is pet food. According to Commercial Cafe, the reasoning is the same for groceries — to avoid going out. Specifically, more than 27% of Americans would order pet food online to ensure the needs of their pets are met, while only about 16% did so prior to the outbreak.
Google Trends data also supports this fact. After staying more or less consistent throughout the past year, interest in buying pet food online spiked in mid-March during the early height of coronavirus-based shopping.
Further illustrating the growing trend of purchasing pet food online, research firm Acosta notes that online sales of pet food and supplies have increased 9% since the COVID-19 outbreak (from 36% of shoppers to 45% of shoppers using this method). Approximately 30-40% of shoppers have set up automatic reordering of their pet needs since the COVID-19 outbreak via online retailers.
Post-pandemic, more than half of shoppers (54%) say they will continue to buy pet food and supplies both online and at a store, while 18% plan to only shop online. Of shoppers saying they will continue to shop online after COVID-19 subsides, 64% plan to use one-time shipments and 24% plan to use auto-shipments for deliveries.
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