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This IDC Survey examines the impact of COVID-19 on consumer shopping behavior. As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, it is creating changes in shopping patterns resulting from consumer concerns about the danger it poses, closings of stores deemed nonessential, and unavailability of certain goods due to breaks in the supply chain. Interestingly, a high number of consumers have just now begun paying attention to the country source of origin of goods.

COVID-19 is having significant impact on the way that consumers procure goods and the availability and type of goods accessible to them. Not surprisingly, ecommerce wins in a pandemic, as the results of IDC's survey reveal in this document. Retailers that are unable to provide omni-channel fulfillment will lose out to those who can as consumers seek a variety of options for no- or low-touch delivery of goods.

Concerns over COVID-19 are driving changes in the quantity of product people buy and the amount of money that they are spending, with purchasing behavior likely reflecting fears of scarcity and ability to procure, a decline in discretionary purchases related to nonessentials and entertainment, and concerns over employment and income.

Some of the technology areas that will be in high demand to keep consumers loyal in both the near term and the long term are:

  • Digital commerce
  • Commerce and self-serve — the future store — online and offline
  • Distributed order management and fulfillment
  • Warehousing automation
  • Sourcing and supply chain automation and collaboration
  • Track-and-trace technologies including RFID and blockchain
  • Cloud-based offerings allowing for retailers to scale up and down in response to rapid shifts in demand


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