In addition, consumers have also begun to worry much more about speed and convenience. In both physical stores and online stores, consumers prefer to spend as little time as possible. Because of their impatience, they make larger purchases and pay high shipping fees just to save some time. In addition, SNAP shoppers may have unreliable Internet access, have a low level of digital literacy, or lack the secure delivery locations needed to shop and deliver online, such as people who are homeless or living in emergency housing.
As a result, consumers who prefer fast delivery and convenience have been satisfied with newly established businesses and are trying out different online grocery stores. Since, before the pandemic, online grocery stores weren't that common, most online grocery stores opened during the pandemic. While online grocery ordering expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic as a means of maintaining social distancing and protecting families, it's now a trend that will last long after the pandemic ends. While some consumers continue to prefer physical stores to buy food, with COVID-19, they have seen the convenience of shopping online.
Of people who shop online, 46% indicated that they use online delivery more now than before the COVID crisis, and 40% use online collection more. Groceries have been the category that has experienced the biggest change in shopping habits, and a large number of consumers who have never before bought food online have made it a regular habit. Big brands such as Walmart, Target and Kroger have worked with influencers, mainly on Instagram and YouTube, to promote their new services, such as online grocery delivery. Until WIC participants can shop online, grocery stores in Tennessee and Oklahoma have been testing a WIC online ordering model that gives WIC participants the opportunity to place an online grocery order through a retailer's website or mobile app and then pick up and pay for that order with WIC benefits in-store.