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Covid-19 poll daily insights

April 17, 2020

  • Essential workers are more focused on getting items quickly and for less.
  • More people under 45 think brick and mortar stores will stay closed past June.
  • Over the last week, more people have started shopping at online retailers that they hadn’t previously bought from.


Essential workers are more focused on product availability, price, and delivery.
While many shoppers rank product availability, price, and fast delivery as top priorities, these factors are especially important to essential workers. On average, nine percent more essential workers say they’re focused on these factors compared to non-essential workers.

On the other hand, positive reviews are more important to non-essential workers, who may be spending more time at home, and likely more time behind the computer. Fourteen percent more non-essential workers say that they prioritize reviews. As one non-essential worker told us, “Lately, I like to do a good bit of research online to see what different options are.”

shopping priorities for essential vs non-essential workers 4-17

People under 45 think stores will stay closed for longer.
About half of survey participants of all ages say they think brick-and-mortar stores will be open by June. However, 29 percent of people under 45 say they expect stores to be closed for even longer, compared to just 19 percent of those over 45.

Others aren’t sure about what to expect just yet. Thirty-five percent of those 45 and over say they have no idea when stores will open again, while only 19 percent of those under 45 feel the same way.

expected reopen of brick and mortar stores by age 4-17

More shoppers are branching out to explore their options.
Over time, more shoppers have begun to purchase from online stores that they hadn’t bought from before. Out of the 94 percent of respondents who say they’re shopping online these days, 46 percent said they’d bought from at least one new-to-them store as of last Monday. By Friday, that number was up to 52 percent.

percent shopping at new online stores by day 4-17

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Consumer sentiment

What are people buying and why?

As shoppers are cutting back on trips to the store and dealing with delivery obstacles, some are seeking more versatile products as a solution. For some, that means modifying their usual grocery list. One person mentioned stocking up on beans, pasta, and vegetables, since they’re “versatile, and can make meals that last a while.” For others, multifunctional items just seem like a more efficient choice. As another person told us, “I bought resistance bands instead of dumbbells because I can use them in different ways.”

Comfortable pants, from leggings to sweatpants, continue to be another key purchase. Between spending more time around the house and having few occasions that require getting dressed up, staying cozy all day is a new priority for some. As one non-essential worker told us, they’re buying more comfortable clothes because these days, they “don’t have to wear real work clothes.”

Some people have also told us that they’re using this time at home as an opportunity to lean into their creative sides. A number of survey participants noted spending more time pursuing hobbies from drawing and sewing to DIY projects. As time goes on, they’re finding that they need to replenish their supplies. “I’ve been drawing more and I need my materials,” said one.

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