The Consumer Retail Experience Several Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic


Change seems to be the theme of 2020, and no industry has felt it more than retail. With consumer behavior shifting virtually overnight, retailers had to scramble to shore up supply chains and protect their customer and brand experience. At the start of the pandemic, we surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. consumers about the impact COVID-19 was having on their shopping patterns. In early October, we followed up with another survey to find out how they’re feeling about retail experiences six months into life amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s a quick look at some of the key findings.

All commerce is ecommerce

  • Nearly 85% of respondents had some level of reservation about shopping in-store largely due to social distancing restrictions.
  • More than 67% of respondents find it more convenient to buy items online rather than in-store.
  • Over 60% of respondents who order items online prefer they be delivered to their home.
  • 89% of consumers plan to spend about the same or more online through November.

The real impact of expected delivery dates

  • More consumers (35%) are moving away from Amazon and shopping with alternative sites as the pandemic progresses due to product out of stocks and delayed shipping times.
  • Close to 66% say expected delivery dates have impacted purchase intent.

What people are shopping for

  • Essentials (36%), apparel (25%) and entertainment (25%) are what consumers will be most looking to buy online.
  • Over 60% of respondents said that they seldom visit stores other than grocery stores.

From our perspective, the findings from both of our consumer surveys make it clear that ecommerce has taken the lead from in-store for the foreseeable future. Retailers will need to continue to enhance their digital capabilities to ensure a convenient, compelling and safe customer experience.

Download the CommerceHub COVID-19 Consumer Retail Trends: 6 Months Later survey here.



CommerceHub is a leading ecommerce enablement platform connecting supply, demand and delivery that helps retailers and brands increase sales by expanding product assortments, promoting products on the channels that perform, and enabling rapid, on-time customer delivery. CommerceHub helps its robust network of thousands of retailers, brands, and distributors achieve over $30 billion in Gross Merchandise Value annually.