The State of Online Purchases and Technology Amid COVID-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the way consumers make purchasing decisions. Additionally, it has increased the need for companies to innovate their businesses in such a way that they incorporate technology to suit customer needs. 

According to a recently published report by PYMNTS, it was found that about twice as many consumers went shopping for retail products from the comfort of their homes during the summer of 2020 than 2019. Meanwhile, approximately three times as many people shopped for groceries from home during the summer of 2020 over the previous summer. 

The report, which was completed in collaboration with Visa, noted how it was eye-opening that about 23 million consumers also bought items via voice assistant technology. For instance, such technology included Google Home and Alexa. According to the findings, this accounted for an increase of 42% in terms of the share of consumers purchasing items since 2018, which was a 10% increase since 2019. 

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has only helped with the move towards the digital realm, the report added. Homes, for example, have become digital centres when it comes to contactless and voice-driven living. Both work-from-home measures and lockdowns have contributed to this change, since individuals have been completing their daily activities through digital means.

In fact, PYMNTS found that 73% of consumers said they ate lunch at home. This accounted for a 30% increase compared to the previous year. In addition, in terms of retail purchases that consumers have made from home, that amount has doubled over the last 12 months. Meanwhile, grocery shopping from the comfort of one’s home has tripled, which accounted for  more than 42 million U.S. individuals.

As for the users of using voice assistants to make purchases, they pertained to tech-savvy bridge millennials who had more disposable income. This particular generation of consumers are comfortable with using technology to make payments because they grew up with connected devices, according to the report. 


As the world of technology continues to influence the way different cohorts conduct their shopping activities, it is imperative that merchants stay up-to-date with the latest payment processing methods. Merchant Broker is here to bridge the gap between the impact of COVID-19 and businesses based on ever-changing consumer habits.

For more information and to receive the best payment processing rates, contact a professional at Merchant Broker today at either 1-888-668-0733 or info@merchantbroker.com.

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