As uncertainty over coronavirus continues to grow, consumers are becoming more cautious about shopping in public places and are utilizing online shopping as a means of getting necessities.
Nearly half (47.2%) of US internet users polled by Coresight Research last month said they are currently avoiding shopping centers and malls. If the outbreak worsens, roughly three-quarters (74.6%) said they will steer away from shopping centers altogether.
The same goes for stores in general. Some 32.7% of respondents said they were avoiding physical stores, and more than half said they’ll avoid them if COVID-19 spreads. Older consumers are more likely to take these precautions—nearly nine in 10 of those over 45 said they will if coronavirus worsens—though significant numbers of younger consumers are bypassing brick-and-mortars as well.
“It’s understandable, given the uncertainty around coronavirus, that vulnerable populations are avoiding physical environments that increase the chance of exposure,” said Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst at eMarketer. “But their household needs don’t simply go away and may even increase with many looking to stockpile resources.”
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