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Covid-19 poll daily insights

April 6, 2020

  • The three most common factors that contribute to where people decide to shop online: price, availability, and delivery speed.
  • Food and beverage purchases are significantly more planned out than impulsive.
  • By looking at the patterns of states that were first to shut down, we predict newly shut down states will see a similar surge in plans to purchase apparel, home goods, and toys.


Price is still king. The three most common reasons that people said they were choosing to shop at particular online retailers were price, availability, and delivery speed.

Twenty-one percent of respondents said price was the biggest factor with many mentioning that they’ve been looking for good sales or the best value. Ten percent said they were choosing where to shop based on product availability, while nine percent said they choose based on fast or reliable delivery.

As more companies experience low or out of stock inventories and shipping delays, it’s possible availability and delivery speed could overtake price in the upcoming weeks.

reasons for shopping choices by percent of respondents 4-6

For many, meal planning is in. Significantly more people said they’re planning around buying food and beverages than those who said they’re buying it impulsively. Sixty-three percent of those who talked about how they’re buying food and beverages said they’ve been planning out their purchases every time. Thirty-two percent said they were buying through a mix of planning and impulse buying. Only six percent said they were buying food and beverage completely impulsively.

planned vs impulse food and beverage purchases 4-6

Better late than never. California, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey were the first five states to issue stay-at-home orders. Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Nebraska were some of the most recent states to order statewide stay-at-home orders.

Those early states are now in their third week of staying home, compared to the newest states that are in their first week. We can look at what people in the early states are planning on buying to predict the buying behaviors to come in the later states.

Ten percent more people in early states said they planned to buy toys and hobby goods compared to the later states. Nine percent more people in early states said they planned to buy home goods. Eight percent more people in early states said they planned to buy apparel.

Our prediction for these later states is that they’ll see a surge in purchases of toys and hobby goods, home goods, and apparel in the coming weeks, similar to what the earlier states are seeing now.

planned purchases by stay-at-home order dates

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Consumer sentiment

What are people buying and why?

Some people are reallocating spend from canceled trips. Some mention buying clothes or furniture with the money and, as one respondent commented, “We had an expensive cruise booked and canceled, so we have more dispensable money now.”

Others are worried that things will get worse. One respondent said, “I feel people should be extremely cautious right now with spending money.” Many remarked that they’re only buying food and cleaning supplies. One person is planning for the worst and said, “I’m stockpiling for the apocalypse.”

Health and fitness continues to be a category that people spend on. At first, people mentioned replacing their normal gym workouts with exercise at home. But for some, a new reason has come up—the sedentary lifestyle of not having their normal activities. As one person said, “I need health and diet products because I’m putting on weight due to inactivity.”

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