One Size Doesn't Fit All: Purchase Preferences at the Category Level

a cup of coffee on a table
Proprietary Institute research reveals how e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar shopping habits differ by product category

The COVID-19 pandemic-driven changes in shopper behavior are more nuanced than they appear. It’s no secret curbside pickup and “buy online, pick up in-store” (BOPIS) continue to flourish in these uncertain times. But the purchase activity warrants a closer look at the category level.

An online survey of 1,000 primary household grocery shoppers conducted in July 2021 by the Path to Purchase Institute examined shifts in behaviors such as online shopping and alternative fulfillment. Survey participants were asked overall questions about the products they’ve shopped for in the past month. They were then asked several questions about up to three product categories. The insights gleaned from their responses indicate that purchase preferences can vary across product categories in the grocery channel.