The data point: 56% bought food online in April

People are undoubtedly back outside, soaking up the sun and enjoying the feeling of not breathing through a paper mask. Some slowed down their online activities in the first quarter. These are not signs that the pandemic digital shift is over, but that it is reshaping for the elusive next normal.

Far from over, our work measuring the digital transformation of the world’s largest economies shows that only around 27% of the most advanced countries have moved to a fully connected lifestyle. Given the increases seen in our last survey, momentum is picking up after a brief dip.

For the latest ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Physical Economy Goes Digital, we surveyed more than 2,600 US consumers about their digital desires, enduring online habits, and connected behaviors that have become part of everyday life. We found that consumers were engaging in more activities online, even if those activities took them out of their homes.

Get your copy: ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Physical Economy Goes Digital

Connected Economy Digital Shift, online meal ordering

  • 56% of consumers bought food online in April, up 9% from March

Grocery stores were open even at the height of the pandemic, and they’re more packed with shoppers now than at any time in the past two years. While we saw a decline in online grocery purchases in the first quarter, consumers returned online to shop in the second quarter in large numbers.

“The share of consumers who purchased groceries online and had them delivered to their homes increased 9% month-over-month, while the share who ordered them online for delivery on same day increased by 14%.We also saw a 10% increase in people ordering their groceries online and picking them up in-store.This signals a general increase in demand for grocery experiences faster and digital,” the study says.

Connected Economy Digital Shift, digital restaurant ordering

  • After a drop, about 43% of consumers use aggregators for restaurant orders

Everything that contributed to the drop in online restaurant orders for home delivery in the first quarter clearly came to a halt at the start of the second quarter, as more and more consumers returned to their favorite delivery dishes.

“Our research showed that consumers’ use of aggregators to place restaurant orders fell 5% between January and February,” the report said, “and remained roughly flat through March. It wasn’t until April that the use of aggregators peaked, and since then about 43% of consumers are using aggregators to order from restaurants.”

Connected Economy Digital Shift, transport, travel

  • 33% of all consumers now go online for at least part of their trip

Engaging with a digital service drives consumers to interact with others like a flywheel that powers digital transformation, and travel is one of the best examples of this.

We found that 33% of all consumers now go online to perform various aspects of travel planning, “significantly more than since November 2021”.

Additionally, five of the 11 activities we measure in the “Move” pillar of the Connected Economy are those that consumers engage in when planning their vacations. “These include booking hotels and Airbnbs online, using apps to purchase airline tickets, using apps or sites to track or obtain travel information, and ‘use of sites to book rental cars,’ the study said, adding that “digital engagement in these activities has seen a massive increase in the past month, including using sites and apps to book hotels. share of consumers going online to book hotels increased by 23%, a strong indication that consumers are taking advantage of this to travel.”

Get your copy: ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Physical Economy Goes Digital



About: PYMNTS’ survey of 2,094 consumers for The Tailored Shopping Experience report, a collaboration with Elastic Path, shows where merchants are succeeding and where they need to up their game to deliver a personalized shopping experience.

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