COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work and shop. No one would have predicted that the pandemic would be the major turning point for online grocery, and it would create such a booming impact. While online sales were growing constantly year on year, due to current circumstances, we are witnessing an unprecedented spike in number of users buying goods online. COVID-19 has negatively impacted instore sales, in general, but there is a spike in online shopping.
The major online retailers, like Amazon, have seen increase in their online grocery sales due to COVID-19. Major retailers like Walmart, Kroger and others have also seen a significant increase online grocery shopping. Retailers are providing customer options to have their online purchases delivered to their doorstep or picked up at the store nearby. In the current situation, where social distancing is most important, customers are finding online shopping a real boon.
Most retailers are working to increase their presence in online shopping spaces as it has become a new normal for future commerce. The customer base and the customer demographics have significantly shifted due to COVID-19. Earlier, millennials were a major online customer segment but, due to COVID-19 outbreak, baby boomers and gen-X segments have significantly grown their buying of essential products online. There is a 35% increase in gen-X buying online and 25% increase in baby boomers buying online. Baby boomers are the ones who are at greatest health risk and will likely continue to use the online shopping option more frequently.
Baby boomers and gen-X will find the online shopping option easy and effective and most will continue to use it even after COVID-19 threat is over. All retailers with an online presence need to chalk out a plan to keep these new customers buying online by providing them additional services like express delivery, additional online discounts and unique direct-to-consumer brands.