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Covid-19 poll daily insights

April 29, 2020

  • Many people plan to continue shopping online after stay-at-home orders lift.
  • Overall, people have bought more than they expected to in the past few weeks.
  • There’s a high demand for subscription boxes, resulting in waitlists for some.


Many people plan to continue shopping online after stay-at-home orders lift.

When it comes to shopping after stay-at-home orders lift, 39 percent of people say they plan to shop mostly or exclusively online. Only 25 percent say they plan to start doing most or all of their shopping in-store.

In the beginning of March, we asked people how much shopping they ordinarily did online versus in-store prior to coronavirus concerns. We compared those responses to their plans for shopping after stay-at-home orders lift, and together, the two sets of responses show that many are planning to continue doing more of their shopping online.

shopping in person vs online over time 4-29

Overall, people bought more than they’d planned over the past two weeks.

On April 9th, we asked people what they planned to buy over the next two weeks. This week, we asked them what they bought in the previous two weeks. Responses to each poll show that overall, people made more purchases than planned, though there were variations between expectations and reality across different product categories.

In one case, shoppers’ plans aligned closely with their actions: The predicted and actual numbers of food and beverage shoppers were within one percent of each other. However, more variation was noticeable in other categories, like apparel and beauty products, which were each more popular than originally expected. It’s worth noting that there were some variations between the two groups of poll participants, so these results in this case indicate shifts in overall sentiment rather than individual behavior.

planned vs actual shopping 4-29

Subscription boxes are booming.

Twenty-three percent of survey participants say they’ve recently signed up for a subscription box or program. Due to the sudden demand, some subscriptions have become so popular that brands have hit the limit of how many subscriptions they’re currently able to fulfill. Nine percent of respondents say that they tried to subscribe to a particular box or plan, but have been waitlisted, which may be related to availability issues.

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Consumer sentiment

What are people buying and why?

Now that many events have cancelled or moved online, people are hesitant to buy tickets to future events right now. Several people mentioned that they plan to wait to buy tickets to events like concerts and other kinds of shows until after stay-at-home orders lift.

Some people feel like they just can’t make any plans right now, considering how many things have been cancelled or postponed. As one person said, “It’s made it nearly impossible to make plans for the foreseeable future.”

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