The Science of Shopping: How Consumers Are Shopping Now


The coronavirus has significantly impacted how and what consumers are buying. Businesses that get how consumer behavior now can respond quickly to changing tastes and benefit from higher revenue and increased brand awareness. A couple of recent surveys have shed some light on the the science of shopping during the pandemic.

The Science of Shopping During a Pandemic: Consumers Favor Digital Offerings

As consumers continue to be stuck inside for large portions of the day, they are embracing their online connections and adjusting their consumer behavior. It’s in these places that brands may be able to tap into revenue streams using the science of shopping. New research from Suzy, the 4A’s Research arm, found that consumers will spend more on the following product/​service items in the next month:

  • Streaming fitness classes or equipment: Women — 16%, Men — 21%
  • Streaming entertainment: Women — 35% Men — 52%
  • Electronics: Women — 13% Men — 29% 

Some consumers have plenty of free time these days. Those who aren’t worried about finances, or who feel good about the future, are ‘window shopping.' In these cases, the window is the screen on their digital device. Around 12.5% of consumers are checking out products that they plan to buy when they can visit a store in the future. Some of these shoppers won’t wait for stores to reopen. Retailers that offer an incentive now can convince 24% of shoppers to purchase a big-​ticket item off their e‑commerce platforms immediately.

Consumer Behavior: How Consumers Are Shopping

According to a Path to Purchase Institute study, a significant number of consumers are being methodical about shopping during the outbreak. In this survey of the science of shopping that reached out to over 1,000 consumers, 44% said that they are buying household essentials on their shopping trips. As they do, 31% are making shopping lists. Your clients can increase the chances of making a sale by offering coupons, something that 24% of consumers want. 

Consumers might have been willing to let their inventory run down before they heard about the coronavirus. Now, 29% of consumers are making more stock-​up trips to the grocery store. They don’t want to risk running out of critical items, especially products that are in high demand right now and, therefore, can be more difficult to come by on a last-​minute basis, such as hand sanitizer and toilet paper. In addition, a significant number of consumers are also resisting going to the physical store. At least 21% now use online shopping to reduce their chances of getting sick. 

You can help your clients boost online traffic and sales by showing them which digital marketing formats appeal to consumers with purchase intent for specific items. AudienceSCAN, at AdMall by SalesFuel, contains all of the data you’ll need.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.