Online Hoarder or Brick & Mortar?


Despite the decline in traffic with more Americans workcouching from home, most neighborhood streets are clogged with delivery trucks depositing all manner of American consumptive goodness on doorsteps: toothpaste, fresh cut flowers, wasabi, almond butter, potpourri.



Although the delivery armada of FedEx, UPS, Amazon, and the runt of the litter — USPS — can materialize a harness for your pet chicken (note: currently on sale) in under six hours, Americans do in fact prefer to shop IRL rather than punctuate their grocery shopping with doom scrolling. In fact, groceries are the most preferred category for in-person shopping (74%), while books are the only category where online is preferred (37%) over in-person (30%). That said, one in four Americans are willing to roll the dice on online-ordered avocados ripening in time for the next Taco Tuesday



Yes, the pandemic has changed our buying habits, but only 24% of Americans say they prefer shopping online right now because it’s safer given COVID-19 safety. It turns out the most popular reason to shop online is simply convenience (33%). While 59% expect their post-pandemic online shopping habits to remain the same, 16% expect a decrease in their “Buy Now” clicks — but 24% plan to do even more (Microsoft) Windows shopping. That net increase means brick and mortar stores need to step up their game if they want to stem the bleed.


Pretty soon even brick and mortar stores are going to place online orders of actual brick and mortar just to make a point. Which is … even the analog world has gone digital. And that free shipping applies to bricks.