Apart from hoarding toilet paper and panic buying, general consumer spending has drastically dropped since the onset of the COVID-19 health crisis. In fact, early forecasts indicate that retail sales dropped by close to 10% in March alone. The subsequent lockdown measures and stay at home orders aimed at curbing the pandemic have caused a significant disruption in the way people shop for everything from food, groceries, and other consumer goods. On the one hand, online food/grocery ordering and delivery have seen a significant increase as more people in cities under lockdown like New York spend more time indoors. On the other hand, the situation presents a number of opportunities for retailers to get a new lease of life for their business.
Changing Trends in Grocery, Food, House care, and Personal Services Post Covid-19
In terms of behavior changes, the most significant development in consumer behavior is the rise in online buying, particularly for groceries. And groceries and food vendors are taking every opportunity to cash in on this lucrative opportunity. Ordering food deliveries online is now easier thanks to companies like Mercato- an innovative grocery delivery platform with a strong network and footing in New York and other states across the US.
Among all the age groups, a huge proportion of consumers made their first online grocery shopping with the advent of the stay-at-home orders. According to industry experts, much first time online grocery shoppers will likely continue shopping for groceries online – at least until this pandemic is over.
Of course, it is not possible to foresee if a large proportion of consumers will continue to shop online for groceries and other household supplies or go back to the brick-and-mortar store experience. But one thing that is certain is that at the moment, New York consumers are increasingly accepting and appreciating the convenience that comes with having groceries delivered on their doorsteps. It will be interesting to see whether the convenience consumers enjoy when shopping online will surpass the missed social experience of shopping at physical stores.
Local Retailers Reaping Big
The fact that more people in New York and across many other cities are ordering food, groceries, and household supplies online presents a lucrative opportunity for retailers to get a new lease of life for their business. For starters, retailers can reach customers from the comfort of their homes. This is especially important considering that people are not allowed to move freely during this crisis. This means consumers cannot go to their favorite stores to shop or restaurants to eat.
Online food/grocery ordering and delivery offers an appropriate platform for linking consumers and retailers. Retailers can increase their reach and revenues since they don’t have to depend on customers who visit the physical store to shop. The fact that demand for groceries and staple products is increasing as more people stay at home means retailers have an opportunity to increase sales. Retailers and restaurants also have the opportunity to ensure they remain in business through the internet.
In a nutshell, the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown measures it has occasioned has brought about certain opportunities in the retail market. Retailers have been forced to look for ways to reach customers outside the physical store setting, while consumers have had to depend on the convenience of online ordering and delivery to get their daily supply of groceries and consumer goods.