15 Mind-Blowing Stats That Prove COVID-19 Has Shifted Consumer Online Behavior

Living life online.

Can you imagine living through COVID-19 without the Internet? For most of us, the answer is a hard “no.”

As if we weren’t already using the Internet a colossal amount before COVID-19 began to spread, stay-at-home orders have sent us flooding sites to shop, socialize, read, watch, and even attend conferences.

That’s why in this edition of “15 Mind-Blowing Stats,” we provide a by-the-numbers look at how COVID-19 is shifting online consumer behavior and perceptions.

  1. Fifty-three percent of Americans said the Internet has been indispensable during the COVID-19 outbreak. By age group, roughly two-thirds of adults under the age of 50 said it was essential, compared with 49% of adults ages 50 to 64 and 31% of adults age 65 and older. (Source: Pew Research)
  2. Ninety-six percent of global consumers said they are consuming more digital media since the coronavirus outbreak, with 60% watching more news coverage and 52% watching more videos and shows/films on streaming services. (Source: GlobalWebIndex)
  3. Apparel brands saw a 34% increase in online sales in April 2020, as online prices for apparel dropped 12%. (Source: Adobe Digital Economy Index)
  4. In Q1 2020, daily time spent in apps on Android devices increased 20% year-over-year. Consumer spending in both iOS and Android apps was also up 15% and 5% respectively, setting a new record for in-app spending for a single quarter at $23.4 billion worldwide. (Source: App Annie)
  5. Daily audio and video calls on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger doubled as the virus spread, reaching levels normally seen only on New Year’s Eve, said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a March 18 conference call with reporters. (Source: MarketWatch)
  6. Websites including Facebook (+27%), Netflix (+16%), and YouTube (+15.3%) have seen bigger increases in desktop usage because Americans are home more. Meanwhile, the mobile apps for these services haven’t grown much (1.1%, 0.3%, and -4.5%, respectively). (Source: New York Times)
  7. In the electronics category, sales are up 58% online, with COVID-19 inflating electronics prices for the first time in years. (Source: Adobe Digital Economy Index)
  8. Online grocery shopping in the U.S. saw a 110% boost in daily online sales in April. All the while, online grocery prices slightly increased in April but stayed in line with January-March 2019 levels.​ (Source: Adobe Digital Economy Index)
  9. Roughly three-quarters (76%) of Americans said they have used email or messaging services to communicate with others, 70% have searched online for information about the coronavirus, and 40% have shared or posted information about the outbreak on social media. (Source: Pew Research)
  10. Snap reports that usage of the platform is up 44% since the outbreak, with a 19% increase in ad engagement as well. (Source: TheDrum)
  11. Consumers are adopting new behaviors that could continue even after the COVID-19 shutdown dissipates. Some are going to websites they never visited previously to buy the basics (14%); shopping at new grocery stores (20%) and adopting curbside restaurant and store pickup (15%). (Source: McKinsey)
  12. After the pandemic, 38% of global consumers said brands that helped people during the outbreak will influence which ones they buy from. In the U.S., 39% of consumers said they’re more likely to buy from local or independent brands. (Source: GlobalWebIndex)
  13. Once the pandemic outbreak is over, 42% of global consumers said they expect to be eating at restaurants less often, 31% expect to be visiting cinemas less often, and 29% expect to be visiting bars/pubs less often. (Source: GlobalWebIndex)
  14. Vacations are a priority purchase for 61% of U.S. consumers post-pandemic, but 65% said they won’t start traveling until they feel it’s safe to do so. (Source: GlobalWebIndex)
  15. The global impact of COVID-19 on the Internet Of Things is expected to grow the market from $150 billion in 2019 to $243 billion by 2021 (more than 60%) driven by an increased focus on monitoring work-at-home employees, the growing adoption of smart payment technologies to minimize human contact involved in cash payments, and rising demand for wearable devices. (Source: Markets And Markets)