CapTech Survey Reveals Shifting Consumer Preferences Due To COVID-19

Oct. 20, 2020

A survey conducted by national consulting firm CapTech reveals that the majority of American consumers — 72% — are comfortable using new technologies to make a purchase, reinforcing that now is a good time for operators to integrate new technologies into their businesses. Additionally, 51% of respondents reported that free curbside and in-store pickup was influential in their purchasing decisions, highlighting how competitors to convenience services are meeting the evolving needs of consumers.  

RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Key Takeaways

  • 72% are comfortable interacting with new technologies to make a purchase
  • 41% want to purchase only items that they need once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
  • Consumer value companies they believe have responded well to the pandemic, like Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

CapTech conducted a survey to better understand how consumer purchasing behaviors, perceptions, and their needs have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our survey also explored the impact technology, incentives, and innovation have on people's decision to choose one retailer or purchasing method over another. Recruiting was based on 2010 US Census data for region, sex, household income, and age via Cint, and was executed in September 2020.

Prioritized Spending is Here to Stay: Consumers are indicating a permanent shift in prioritizing their spending on essentials and saving money.

  • 34% are purchasing more essentials and 36% are purchasing fewer nonessentials.
  • This trend will likely continue, with nearly half indicating they want to purchase only items they need after COVID-19.

Right Now, Safety is Top of Mind: Discounts and convenience that prioritizes safety like free shipping, curbside pickup, and physical store modifications also have big impacts. 

  • 56% of respondents said that discounting/waiving shipping/delivery fees and increased safety measures were the most influential on whether they gave a company their business.
  • 51% of respondents said that free curbside and in-store pickup was also influential in their purchasing decisions.
  • Consumers' purchasing decisions are also influenced by whether or not businesses protect their employees (78%) and help the local community (76%).

Customers Are Adopting New Technologies: Consumers are more open to trying new and different activities, brands, and technology. Increased interest in new technologies is driven by a desire for enhanced safety.

  • 59% indicated that a business offering unique or innovative solutions is influential or very influential on their purchasing decisions
  • Many want to continue using technology post pandemic; 77% want to continue online shopping, 58% want to continue communicating with a company using online chat for customer service, and 52% want to continue paying for products or services using a smart device.

Key Quote Consumers' spending preferences have changed dramatically in just a few months, and it's very likely these habits will continue to change. Consumers are not only receptive to using technology, they've come to expect it. To succeed in this environment, businesses will need to innovate to meet their needs. Vinnie Schoenfelder, CTO, CapTech.

About the Survey The survey was conducted in September 2020 using a statistically significant national census-based population sample via SurveyMonkey. It is representative of the general U.S. population.

About CapTech CapTech is a national consulting firm that helps clients grow efficient, successful businesses. CapTech brings together data, systems, and ingenuity organizations needed to stay ahead and transform what's possible in a changing world. CapTech is a team of master builders, creators, and problem solvers who find inspiration in the unknown and enjoy getting our hands dirty as we design solutions for each client. Across industries and business goals, CapTech fuses technical depth and analytical prowess with creative savvy to ignite innovation and move business forward. This drive helps each organization use technology, management, and insight to turn ideas into action. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, CapTech has locations in Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Chicago, Columbus (Ohio), Denver, and Washington D.C. Learn more about CapTech at