Business

Online shopping on the rise since virus outbreak

By Don Fennell

Published 3:05 PDT, Mon April 27, 2020

Last Updated: 2:59 PDT, Mon May 25, 2020

The way we shop is changing, and the onset of COVID-19 may have sped up the process.

One in four British Columbians say they are using online services to purchase their food since the outbreak. And four in five say they expect to shop online in the coming months.

The figures are part of the findings from a survey just released by PayPal.

The survey also found that 11 per cent of British Columbians have newly become online grocery shoppers since the outbreak began. That represents a 65 per cent increase. And residents of the province are more likely than their peers elsewhere in the country to have started buying household supplies online—13 per cent versus four to eight per cent in the rest of Canada.

The change in lifestyle habits also found that younger and middle-aged generations, as well as parents, are the mostly likely to shop for groceries online. Twenty-seven per cent of these are Millennials, 23 per cent Gen Xers, and 30 per cent parents.

Further findings included:

• Half of British Columbians say they are cooking at home more often

• Two in five are cooking at home with groceries purchased in store more often

• One in five are cooking at home with groceries purchased online more often

• One in three are offering to help elderly or vulnerable friends, family or neighbours more often

• One in three say they are exercising at home or outdoors more often

• Two in three prefer to pick out their own products in person

• Two in five prefer purchasing products in person because they have them on hand right away

• Two in five prefer to support small grocers and shops in their neighbourhood who don’t offer delivery

• One in five have health-related concerns when it comes to shopping for essentials online

• 11 per cent worry about the health of the delivery person

• 12 per cent worry about having to sanitize packages that are delivered

Nationwide, since the COVID-19 outbreak, online grocery shopping has increased by 67 per cent. It has also increased for household supplies by 41 per cent; for toiletries by 33 per cent; and for entertainment, toys and games by 18 per cent.

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