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Covid-19 poll daily insights

April 13, 2020

  • Most shoppers say they feel “somewhat satisfied” or “about the same as usual” about their current online shopping experiences.
  • How people are finding new retailers varies by age: Those under 45 are finding more new brands on instagram, while those 45 and over say they’ve been using Google Search.
  • People who are shopping at independent retailers rank product quality, reviews, and the opportunity to support local businesses as key factors in their decision.


Online shopping is going okay for most. Forty percent of shoppers say they feel somewhat satisfied with their current online shopping experience, followed by twenty-nine percent who say they feel the same as normal . Only 3 percent said they felt very unsatisfied.

The relatively low percentage of negative responses is especially interesting, since many people are dealing with long shipping delays. It may be that some people are more lenient given their understanding of the current challenges for businesses and delivery services. As one respondent told us, “Usually if something is late by 2 days, I would call. But now, I waited a month before checking in on my order.”

satisfaction with current online shopping experience 4-13

Shoppers are discovering brands through Instagram and Google. Thirty-nine percent of people under 45 who shop online report finding more new brands on Instagram than via any other channel. On the other hand, only eight percent of online shoppers 45 and over say they are finding brands on Instagram. That makes sense, considering that a majority of Instagram users are under 45. .

On the other hand, Google search was more popular with shoppers 45 and over, with 36 percent telling us it’s one of the main ways they discover brands. But it’s popular with younger shoppers, too: 31 percent of respondents under 45 tell us they find brands via Google.

how shoppers are discovering brands 4-13

Shoppers’ priorities vary. Overall, shoppers rank price, free shipping, and product availability as top priorities when choosing where to shop. However, those who shop at independent retailers tell us that product quality, positive reviews, and the opportunity to support local businesses are key factors in their shopping decisions.

priorities for shopping by store type 4-13

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Consumer sentiment

What are people buying and why?

Shoppers are continuing to invest in hobbies, buying supplies like fabric, woodworking materials, and kitchen gadgets. For example, one person told us they’re planning to buy a stand mixer, “because I am teaching myself how to bake while I practice social distancing.”

Many people expect that stay-at-home guidelines will last through the rest of spring, and some are already getting a jump on summer shopping. Respondents mentioned buying everything from shorts and sandals to wetsuits to prepare for the season ahead.

For some, more time at home means more time to think carefully about future purchases. In some cases, that means doing more research before buying. Other respondents tell us they’re spending more time deciding whether or not they really need something due to financial concerns. As one person said, “I’m toying with getting an HDMI cable but I don’t know if it’s essential enough to justify.”

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