NEW YORK — Since March 2020, over 18 million consumer packaged goods shoppers have gone online to do their shopping, finds a survey released by Nielsen. 

The boom in e-commerce has led to the increase of omnichannel shopping. For many, Nielsen found online channels are a key means to compare prices, research new products and find physical stores, giving way to a full-blown explosion of true omnichannel shopping. In the last year, omnichannel shopping has increased 50%. 

When examining consumers’ levels of engagement across channels Nielsen found:

  • 56% of online shoppers put careful consideration into each purchase at the point of sale in September 2020, compared with 51% of brick-and-mortar shoppers. 
  • Online shoppers became more invested than their brick-and-mortar counterparts in searching for the best product to fit new needs and, as a result, increased planning efforts for online grocery purchases into the new normal.
  • When examining planning levels for in-store food purchases, rates of purchase planning dipped below pre-COVID levels by September 2020. As brick-and-mortar shoppers eased up on planning efforts, impulse purchasing for food and non-food products increased slightly across offline channels.
  • The number of shoppers who consider themselves as exclusive or heavy online shoppers for everyday items increased by 133% from September 2019 to September 2020.
  • Shopper preference for instore pickup or delivery grew by 26% during the 52 weeks that ended in September 2020.
  • 29% of consumers found the order history tool to be the most helpful website feature when shopping online.