That’s probably not surprising, based on a survey of 1,000 people by HighSpeedInternet.com, 45.7% of respondents report using the Internet (on a phone, tablet or computer) more compared to last year, with the average time spent online daily up to eight hours. What is surprising is that even though nearly half of the sample (47%) has shopped online more often since COVID, in most cases people still prefer to do so in person.
While survey results show three out of four people research their purchases online, where they prefer to shop is another matter. When it comes to technology products or ordering food to go, the internet has the edge, with 47% and 41% respectively preferring the internet over in person, or over the phone if the latter is the case. When it comes to groceries, home goods or clothes shopping, however, it is not a contest: it is personally preferred by 67%, 50% or 48% of respondents. For one, that’s despite finding that 31% reported using a delivery service like Instacart since the pandemic began.
Also noteworthy: although many prefer to order food online, 42% would rather use a restaurant’s menu than one on the restaurant’s website. And while online banking is okay with 61% of people, only 11% prefer virtual doctor appointments, even though 30% report getting virtual healthcare more often since COVID. An online business that has not reported change since the pandemic is ride-sharing apps like Uber, with 64% using the same rate now and then.
As for online entertainment, 32% are streaming music, podcasts or other audio content more often since COVID, and the average American now spends five hours doing so every day; 48% are streaming movies, TV and other content they watch most often, while 26% play video games most often.