Survey Reveals 90.4% of People Are Shopping in Grocery Stores Weekly

A woman checks her phone while in the produce section at a grocery store.

Everything seems to be moving to digital during this age of technology. We may not have flying cars yet, but our society has progressed to include tons of delivery options ranging from online ordering and pickup to grocery orders being delivered directly to shoppers’ doors within hours. We conducted a survey to uncover how consumer behavior has changed in response to COVID-19. The survey showed that, although online shopping has seen incredible growth, consumers still want the ability to conduct weekly grocery shopping trips in physical stores.  

The number of people shopping online has risen compared to before the pandemic. Prior to COVID, 2.3% of consumers did all their shopping online. Today, 9.6% of consumers do all their shopping online. Even though the number of people switching to online grocery delivery options has risen in response to COVID-19, 90.4% of consumers still make an in-person shopping trip at least once a week. One third (36.5%) of respondents to the survey venture out twice or more often each week, and 53.9% leave once a week.  

So, how can brands reach consumers naturally on their path to purchase? With 9 out of 10 shoppers still physically going to the store at least once a week, we’ve found there is huge potential for brands to get in front of consumers with out-of-home (OOH) advertising. 

Continue reading to dive into surprising generational consumer data, consumer behavior changes and the impact of OOH on in-store product purchases.  

Generations & Grocery: How Have Buying Behaviors Changed per Age Group?  

While some behaviors remain similar to before the COVID-19 pandemic, other have changed drastically.  

Surprisingly, the age group most associated with technology, Gen Z, has shown the least change in behavior, with less than half of Gen Z respondents adjusting their shopping from in-store to online options. Overall, the most common change across all age groups and genders was the reduced frequency of trips to the grocery store in a possible effort to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. In turn, this has led to more purposeful trips with larger basket sizes per grocery store visit.  

The Rise of the Strategic Shopper 

Woman reads through her prepared grocery list while at the store.

Many shoppers have made it a mission to limit their risk of Coronavirus as much as possible. Along with limiting their exposure, this means they’re trying to get in and out of grocery stores as quickly and efficiently as possible.  

According to survey respondents, when consumers leave their homes now, 92.9% have a specific plan of action in mind about what stores they need to visit and what they need to buy. Over two-thirds of consumers say they are taking these measures to reduce time spent outside the home and protect themselves from catching or spreading the virus. This is particularly true for Gen Z and millennials.  

Additionally, of those who specified planning ahead now, only 63.2% did so before the pandemic—with 57.2% of females planning their grocery store trips before the pandemic compared to 70.8% of men who strategized their grocery store trips pre-COVID. Now, the two genders have swapped and females are even more strategic than their male counterparts. Today, 90.5% of females plan their grocery store visits compared to 90.5% of men who plan their grocery store visits.  

OOH Advertising Stands Out When Shoppers Venture Out 

Cars drive under Digital Out-of-Home sign on the highway.

65.6% of consumers notice OOH advertising on their shopping trips. Of those who notice OOH advertising, 81.7% notice it more (26.3%) or about the same (55.4%) during the pandemic compared to before the Coronavirus outbreak. Although this is a traditional form of advertising, younger generations are particularly tuned into these placements—with 30.9% of Gen Z and 28.8% of millennials noticing OOH more since the onset of the pandemic. 

On top of the attention being drawn to OOH advertising, people are also more interested in what the messaging is actually saying. 63% of respondents reported that messaging is particularly important during these times. Generationally, Gen Z, millennials and Gen X were receptive to messaging, whereas baby boomers were less phased.    

As people notice OOH ad placements and messaging more, results show that 60.4% ofconsumers are likely to purchase a product on their shopping trip after seeing an OOH ad (10.1% extremely likely; 50.3% somewhat likely). Breaking it down by generation, millennials are the most inclined to make a purchase after seeing an OOH ad, followed by Gen Z and Gen X. 

Why does it matter who sees what and what they’re noticing? In our survey, ads in pharmacies and grocery stores and on billboards rated as the most memorable forms of OOH advertising for each gender and generation. The OOH channel is a powerful way to get in front of consumers while they’re en route to or inside stores as they are making purchasing decisions.  

For more information on how to plan a highly visible OOH campaign, contact us at [email protected] today! 

Methodology: Quotient conducted a survey of over 1,000 respondents across various age groups in the United States via Survey Monkey in August 2020 to assess changing consumer shopping behavior during the pandemic.