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Covid-19 poll daily insights

April 8, 2020

  • Product availability is becoming an obstacle for shoppers.
  • People under 45 are impulse-buying electronics at a higher rate.
  • Repeat hardware and home improvement purchases continue to hold steady.


Customers are searching for out-of-stock products. Over the past three days, a growing number of people have said that product availability is becoming a bigger obstacle when shopping. Popular products sell out fast, and shipping and supply chain issues keep many businesses from restocking at their usual speed—or at all, in some cases.

Multiple respondents say that they’re just trying to find stores that still have their desired items in stock. Sometimes, that means shopping around. One respondent noted, “I buy from wherever I can find the goods I need. Most places are sold out of a lot of items.”

percent of shoppers choosing stores based on availability 4-8

Electronics are a hot impulse purchase. A third of survey respondents say they’re buying more impulsively than normal, and twenty-five percent of shoppers under 45 who fall into this category tell us they’re buying electronics. Only 10 percent of those 45 and over who say they’re buying impulsively say they bought electronics.

Across age groups, respondents mentioned purchasing computers and laptops for work and practical purposes, along with products like gaming systems and TVs for entertainment.

percent of impulse buys of electronics by age 4-8

Home improvement goods are still a popular repeat purchase. Last week, 45 percent of respondents who bought hardware and home improvement goods said that they planned to buy them again.

This week, that intent holds steady, with 44 percent of those who previously purchased from these categories saying they plan to buy again in the next two weeks.

percent of repeat home improvement buyers by week 4-8

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Consumer sentiment

What are people buying and why?

As spring weather arrives, many are turning to gardening to make the most of their time at home. While it’s already a favorite hobby for some, others are testing out their green thumbs for the first time, which means buying everything from tools to seeds and plants themselves. As one person said, “I never paid much attention to our backyard but this year I’m more interested in making it our little oasis, so [I’m] buying colorful flowering plants”

Groceries are a must-have for everyone, and many people say they’re keeping their pantries more stocked than usual. As one person said, “I’m buying groceries in a slightly larger bulk than normal to ensure we have food to eat for the next couple of weeks.”

Now that many salons and barbershops have temporarily shut down, many people are taking beauty and grooming routines into their own hands. For some, taking a DIY approach for the first time means investing in the right tools, from hair-cutting scissors to manicure supplies. One respondent noted, “I can’t go to the nail salon, so I need a nail kit.”

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