PYMNTS Pandenomics Report March: Inoculated Shifters Embracing A Digital-First World

online shopping

It all started a year ago. Remember? There came a scary event that’s changed nearly everything about how we live, work, play — and pay for the pleasure. PYMNTS has tracked the destructive path of COVID through the business world in our Pandenomics report series, surveying nearly 22,000 U.S. consumers in the process and publishing 18 previous editions finding to date.

March’s edition in the Pandenomics series, The New Digital Consumer: How The Pandemic Has Reshaped Consumers’ Shopping Behaviors, based on a census-balanced sample of nearly 2,000 U.S. adults, looks at lasting consumer sentiments about the digital shift and everything after.

What jumps out of new findings is the profound and extensive degree of digital transformation of entire societies, and how that’s OK with a great many people who still palpably fear COVID.

Per the new report, 62 percent of consumers are grocery shopping in stores less than they did pre-COVID and “do not want to do so as much as they did before the pandemic,” and for remote workers it’s much the same story. “Seventy-nine percent of remote workers say they want do not want to go back to working at physical workplaces, apparently preferring the company of family, roommates and pets to commuting to work every day,” per the report.

Clearly, the digital shift is staying with us, even as we reemerge into the physical world.

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Aggregators, Digital Platforms Rate Highly For Lifestyle Optimization

Fascinating lifestyle patterns have formed out of necessity, with touchless digital shopping options that reduced the risk of infection, bringing brightness to a dark picture.

The latest Pandenomics report finds that 38 percent of all consumers have shifted from dining in restaurants to ordering food on their mobile phones for pickup, and 77 percent who shifted to mobile order-ahead apps will stay with that mode of dining post-pandemic.

“Data shows that 26 percent of consumers report using aggregators like Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash more now than they did before the pandemic began. Eighty percent of them say they intend to keep using aggregators at least as often as they do now even after the pandemic has subsided,” according to How The Pandemic Has Reshaped Consumers’ Shopping Behaviors.

There’s good reason for these patterns to stick, as people are using digital tools and platforms to manage more aspects of their lives, giving a newfound sense of freedom when we need it.

“One of the reasons that digital channels have helped consumers clear their schedules is that they enable them to place purchases anytime, and such shoppers can use a mix of digital and brick-and-mortar channels for nearly all of the products they purchase. The extent to which they use physical channels, digital channels or both nevertheless depends on the type of products they are buying at any given time,” per the March Pandenomics report.

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Vaccines Sealing The Deal For Millions

We all listened, watched and waited for most of 2020. Then the vaccines started arriving. That was the sign many millions were waiting for, and it shows up in the new numbers.

“Consumers see the light at the end of the tunnel now that vaccines are more widely available. Access to vaccines and interest in getting vaccinated are at an all-time high in the U.S., as 66 percent of U.S. consumers are either vaccinated or plan to get vaccinated,” the study states. “Twenty-eight percent of the adult population have already received at least one vaccination shot, and 53 percent are either vaccinated or likely to get vaccinated when they become eligible. This is up from just 38 percent of consumers who had already been vaccinated or planned to get vaccinated back in November, when the U.S. vaccine rollout kicked off.”

Immunization makes people feel safer — a fact that’s driving a lot of optimism now.

As of the recent survey, U.S. consumer believe widespread vaccinations will end the pandemic “37 days sooner than would otherwise be possible. This would mean being able to reenter the physical world without restrictions by January 2022. It is worth noting that back in March 2020, the average consumer believed that the pandemic would end by April 2020.”

A mixed bag of perceptions, certainly, but pointing in the right direction for a rebound.

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