As per Euromonitor International, the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged e-commerce users to increase the frequency of online shopping. The survey finds, online shopping in nearly every category recorded double-digit growth in the percentage of connected consumers making digital purchases between the two fielding timeframes. The only exception was beauty, health and personal care purchases, jumping eight percentage points. In contrast, the percentage of connected consumers purchasing electronics and appliances, foodservice and travel online grew by twice as many points.
Besides shopping more in already-familiar categories, consumers are turning to e-commerce across a broader range of products and services. The percentage of minimal online shoppers, connected consumers who did not use digital or only used digital to shop for one category, dropped significantly during the research and purchase steps in the consumer journey between fielding timeframes.
There was a sharp rise in the number of categories that shoppers researched and purchased online. 60 per cent of connected consumers were heavy online shoppers during the research step in March, exploring four to five categories online, up from 42 per cent in early 2020. Nearly 50 per cent of shoppers purchased products and services across more than three categories, a 12 percentage point increase.
In early 2020, minimal online shoppers and heavy online shoppers were evenly split during the purchase step at 36 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively. By March, there was a nearly 30 percentage point gap between minimal online shoppers and heavy online shoppers.
Connected consumers between the ages of 30 to 44 were the most frequent users of the digital channel across all five categories. Connected consumers over the age of 60 recorded the highest percentage increase of all age groups for researching and purchasing across categories online, excluding beauty, health and personal care, between the two fielding timeframes.