More US Consumers Are Shopping for Essential Goods While Keeping Contact to a Minimum

June 18, 2020

Gallup Growing Use Convenience Commerce Jun2020In May this year, 44% of US adults picked up takeout from a restaurant more often than they did during the previous month, according to new data from Gallup. In the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19, the survey finds an increase in various kinds of convenience shopping and low-contact services as consumers continue to venture out of their homes for essential goods.

Of the 6 conveniences surveyed, 5 have seen steep climbs in the percentage of respondents using them more than the previous month. With the first reading being in late March/early April, the latest data indicates that US consumers are more likely than ever to engage in these low-contact shopping habits, and it will be interesting to see how their use evolves as restrictions on public outings ease in all states.

While convenience was already a driving factor for many consumers, the COVID-19 outbreak has shone a new light on its importance. Respondents are still largely only shopping for essential goods like food, with increased adoption most prevalent among those picking up takeout from a restaurant (44% doing so more often in May) and using curbside pick-up at a store (36%). A further 23% of US adults have had food delivered from a restaurant more often, with 14% having groceries delivered more frequently.

Consumers are also taking the opportunity to use low-contact convenience services for medical reasons – some 27% used telemedicine (virtual visit with a doctor) more often in May, and just under 1 in 10 (9%) increased their use of medicine or medical supply delivery.

In particular, consumers under the age of 45 are consistently more likely to participate in low-contact convenience shopping. Most significantly, where one-third of 18-44-year-olds had food delivered from a restaurant more in May, just 12% of those aged 65 and above did the same. Compared to lower-income households, those with an annual income of over $90K were more likely to report using some of these services more often, including picking up takeout from a restaurant, using curbside pickup, having a virtual visit with the doctor, and having food delivered.

Read the full findings here.

About the Data: May 2020 data is based on a survey of 4,117 US adults (18+).

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