A survey by Ware2Go has found there are signals of a possible rebound in the consumer market driven by online buying. The findings indicate more than half (55%) of Americans have purchased items online from websites and retailers they have never shopped with before.
Data from the survey also shows that 87% of Americans are now shopping online, and 64% say they’re replacing weekly shopping trips with online orders. A promising sign for retailers in the post-covid-19 outbreak period.
Ware2Go surveyed more than 1,000 consumers about e-commerce and retail shopping related to social distancing practices during the lockdown. 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.
Online Shoppers Find New Stores
As a consequence of the outbreak online shopping in recent times has seen a surge in activity. This in turn has opened up opportunities for a new supply chain landscape for businesses. prompting purchasing channels to shift online thus allowing companies to deliver goods to wholesalers, retailers and eCommerce consumers seamlessly. This makes it possible for businesses to recover much faster by scaling with demand, as part of a new Business to Everyone (B2E) paradigm shift. The ripple effect can see supply chains improving by integrating operations and logistics 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, in the press release
Ware2Go also points to the recent acceleration in eCommerce order mix, creating a new level of complexity for businesses. This would require businesses to adapt to shifts in consumer demand quickly.
Americans’ willingness to try new brands during the lockdown spans across product categories. Some 61% have tried new grocery brands, while 34% have tried new vitamin and supplement brands, and 28% are trying new pet supply brands.
Many consumers are looking to stock up for new work-from-home- and home-schooling duties, as well as hobbies like cooking, exercising and engaging with their pets.
Working Remotely Opens up Opportunities for Online Retail
According to the survey data, two-thirds (67%) of employed Americans are working from home, and 51% have children being homeschooled. The shift to being predominately home-based has meant consumers need office and school supplies delivered to their doorsteps.
Taking on additional jobs coupled with school needs are helping to drive online purchasing for office supplies. Among these pens, pencils, paper, and notebooks cover almost half (49%) of the supplies needed by households. Books come in second accounting for 44% of the demand followed closely by tech tools that include computers or tablets (42%).
Being restricted to their homes has also allowed families to cook at home. In fact, cooking is ranked as the most popular quarantine activity by 48% of the respondents. As a consequence, 77% of Americans are purchasing food items online. Furthermore, some 81% of consumers say they are either learning to cook or are cooking at home more frequently during the quarantine.
This has prompted some 61% of them to try new grocery brands. This has boosted eCommerce shipments of food and beverages showing an increase of 151% since the beginning of the pandemic.
Next to grocery brands vitamins and supplements brands are also seeing customers trying out their products (34%). The goods news has also spread to pet supply brands and fitness brands. They are seeing 28% and 17% of new demand respectively. In fact, pet supply brands saw online order shipments increase by as much as 58%.
Health and Fitness New Priorities
Healthy habits remain a top-of-mind concern according to the survey with 42% of Americans staring to exercise during the period. Of which more men (49%) are now taking to exercises compared to 36% of women. Overall exercising has been the most popular pastime for Gen Z, accounting for 52% of the age group.
Vitamin and supplement brands have seen an increase of up to 45% in online shopping during the pandemic. With 42% of consumers admitting to having started to purchase vitamins and supplements online.
How Small Business Need to Adapt to Increased Online Sales
The new ‘Business to Everyone’ era allows businesses to think out of the brick and mortar mindset to capitalize on the opening opportunities. Businesses cannot continue to rely on walk-in customers to come into their stores to browse or buy onsite because of the new norm.
In fact, more and more customers today research products online before making purchases. Having an online presence can add to your competitiveness as well as reach out to exponentially more customers.
To adapt to the new buying habits businesses will need to look to eCommerce to really diversify their revenues. By taking the cue from large retailers, small businesses can use their agility to capture part of the consumer market. Unlike big companies, small businesses have the advantage of using their unique personality. Their sense of community and their customer service allows them to leverage their products and services. The technology to open an eCommerce site is also available and affordable. The key is to integrate your offerings across all platforms to reap the maximum benefits.
Ware2Go is a company under UPS that connects SMBs with warehouses to help streamline online orders. The company recruits and certifies warehouses for merchants. This allows them to expand to new locations and keep up with new eCommerce growth.
This article, “55% of Americans Have Shopped Online at a New Store” was first published on Small Business Trends