The coronavirus’ effect on grocery stores has been well-documented in recent weeks; pictures of empty shelves and fears of being quarantined without toilet paper have created runs on supermarkets around the country. To find out whether the same is true with online orders, CivicScience asked more than 9,300 people in the last week about the delivery of their recent online purchases.
So far delays are the most commonly reported problem.
The West Has It Worst
The effects are not level around the country. Residents of the Northeast and especially the West are so far more likely to have experienced some manner of delay or cancellation. Fifty-three percent of Western respondents have had a delay or cancellation, whereas only 42% of Midwestern respondents reported such a difficulty with one of their deliveries.
At the time of writing the West and Northeast contain the cities hardest hit by the coronavirus. With more states in the Midwest and South implementing “shelter in place” orders, it remains to be seen how deliveries will be affected.
Shopping Habits are Starting to Change
Answers to this question have been changing throughout the month. More people have been answering that they are either shopping more or less, indicating that the coronavirus has begun taking effect on people’s online shopping habits. Moreover, the rates of growth for these two responses have been quite similar, though not identical, in the last two weeks.
Whether or not this means any particular demographics are getting into or out of online shopping en masse as the nation reacts to the coronavirus is unclear. However, it does show that widespread delivery difficulties and other coronavirus stressors are causing a split response among online shoppers.