Research reveals dramatic shift in shoppers’ behavior since COVID-19

New research is highlighting how changing online and in-store shopping habits will shape retail supply chains in the future.

Blue Yonder surveyed global consumers in both March and April and found  the grocery retail sector has been greatly impacted by more consumers ordering online for grocery delivery.

According to the research, 74 per cent of US consumers surveyed during April said they were doing more shopping online as opposed to in-store in response to COVID-19, an increase from 57 per cent when the same research was carried out in March.

JoAnn Martin, Vice President of Retail Industry Strategy at Blue Yonder said online grocery delivery services have seen a big upward trend and attracted a lot of new customers.

“It is clear that both online and in-store shopping behavior will change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wayne Snyder, Vice President of Retail Strategy EMEA at Blue Yonder.

“On the one hand, many retailers are going to need to ramp up their online fulfilment operations to meet growing customer demand and expectations. On the other, they will need to carefully consider the changing role of their store estates in terms of supporting both their online and offline business in the future.”

In Europe, almost two-thirds of shoppers who are spending more online say they will continue to do so once the crisis subsides.

The research follows Deutsche Post DHL Group announcement of increased group revenue in the first quarter of 2020 due to a record boom in online sales.

“Booming e-commerce starting from the last week of March led to spikes in parcel volumes, which are normally seen only in the pre-Christmas season,” DHL said in a statement.

DHL reported on Tuesday May 5 that revenue improved by 0.9% to EUR 15.5 billion, and operating profit (EBIT) came in at EUR 592 million.

According to the statement, an increase in e-commerce orders over the past five weeks has pushed DHL’s parcel volume to peak season levels.

In the first quarter of 2020, all five divisions reported an operating profit despite the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on earnings.

The company’s stated that its e-commerce division improved operating profit to EUR 6 million despite Covid-19, because the “positive effects of restructuring the Group’s international parcel activities were able to compensate for the negative impact of EUR 12 million of the pandemic on first-quarter earnings”.

While the DHL divisions felt the effects of the standstill in many regions and customer industries, business in China experienced a recovery in March after the drop in February.

In the first quarter of 2020, eCommerce Solutions generated revenue at the prior-year level of EUR 1.0 billion amid wide regional variations in terms of the effects of the pandemic.

Globally, the Group saw a strong increase especially in the food and health care sector. The fastest-growing product categories include nutraceuticals (dietary supplements), health and beauty items, apparel, pharmaceuticals and home office supplies, according to the carrier.

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