Pinterest has this week published some new insights into the rise of grocery shopping online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per Pinterest:
"Before the pandemic, most of us did our food shopping in stores. Not true anymore. Since the crisis began, we’ve increasingly called on masked heroes working for delivery services to fetch our groceries. An estimated 50% of all US consumers have now grocery-shopped online, a whopping 40% increase over last year."
Which is no surprise, right? We can't physically go to stores, and we need groceries, so more people are shopping online.
That, of course, makes logical sense, but it's interesting to consider the future implications of such, and how that could relate to broader eCommerce behavior moving forward.
Indeed, as Pinterest notes:
"eMarketer predicts the COVID-19-led adjustment will “cause a lasting step change” in grocery ecommerce. Shoppers who’d never tried buying groceries online will become more comfortable with the habit, the research firm says."
As more people try purchasing online, more people will also actually prefer it, and that could lead to a wider shift in all eCommerce behavior. There's no specific evidence of that shift as yet, but given that eCommerce activity has been on a steady rise over the past two decades anyway, it seems logical that the COVID-19 lockdowns will only exacerbate that trend.
This is important to note, and will become an increasing focus for many businesses moving forward.
In terms of Pinterest activity, specifically, Pinterest notes that the number of online purchases it drove for grocery retailers jumped nearly 70%, month-on-month, in March.
Pinterest also notes that Pinners are more ready tech adopters than general consumers, while they also spend more, on average.
That presents immediate opportunities for grocery retailers to connect through recipe Pins and the like. But really, as noted, the wider eCommerce trend is of more interest here.
We won't know the full impacts of this for some time, once we're able to get back to normal life, but the data points to significant growth in eCommerce behavior moving forward, which could force many companies to re-assess their approach. Facebook is introducing Shops, Pinterest offers an evolving range of eCommerce connection options, and other platforms are also looking to add in-stream buying tools.
If these shifts hold, even marginally, these options could become increasingly important, and provide new ways to meet consumers where they're looking.
It seems logical that they will hold, at least to some degree, and it'll be interesting to see what that means for consumer purchase behavior moving forward.
The immediate focus is economic recovery, but the next element to watch will be how consumer activity changes, or not, in the wake of the pandemic.
You can read Pinterest's full grocery trends report here.