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Pitney Bowes BOXpoll™ Finds COVID-19 Habits are Here to Stay

Americans are dining in, wearing masks and shopping online more than ever.

New survey finds these trends will continue even after the virus is gone.

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI), a global technology company that provides commerce solutions in the areas of ecommerce, shipping, mailing and financial services, today released the results of its first BOXpoll™, a new market research tool for the ecommerce industry based on a series of consumer surveys about current events, culture and their impact on shopping behaviors and ecommerce logistics.

In one of the first national surveys asking respondents to contemplate a post-pandemic world, BOXpoll found that many of the social and economic behaviors Americans have adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to outlast the virus. By large margins, Americans say they will continue to cook, workout and shop from home more when the pandemic is over than they did before the virus existed. At the same time, they will shake hands, hug, go to concerts, fly in airplanes and dine at restaurants less (see Chart 1).

“We can all see from the changes in our own homes and workplaces just how dramatically the pandemic is impacting daily life, but I think earlier this year, many people expected to one day go back to ‘the way things were.’ This survey says, in many aspects of our lives, we’re choosing never to go back,” said Gregg Zegras, EVP and President of Global Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes. “While Pitney Bowes is particularly focused on the shipping and ecommerce space, businesses in all industries will benefit from listening to what consumers are telling us about their future plans for a post-pandemic world.”

Why do so many Americans plan to continue behaviors they’ve adopted during the pandemic? One reason may be their fear of another pandemic. Pitney Bowes asked shoppers if they believe their community will face another pandemic like COVID-19 in their lifetime. Only 18% said “no.” Among those who offered an opinion, 71% said, “yes,” they believe they will face another pandemic.

Another reason why American’s plan to make some of their pandemic behaviors permanent is that they actually like some of the changes the public health crisis has forced upon them. This is particularly true of online shopping.

More than half of consumers (54%) shop online more often today versus pre-pandemic and 73% of those consumers say they have enjoyed shopping online during the pandemic more than they expected. Moreover, the number of consumers doing more than half of their shopping online is nearly triple what it was before the pandemic (45% now; versus 16% before).

Shoppers also seem to be enjoying the variety of brands available to them. Twenty-eight percent of online shoppers are spending more time searching for new brands or sites they have never visited before (led by nearly 40% of Gen Z).

“In the ecommerce space, people are telling us they plan to continue shopping online more than ever before. They’re also spending more time on mobile devices browsing for new brands. Both of these trends present new opportunities and new challenges for retail and ecommerce businesses and the logistics companies who serve them,” said Zegras.

Where are they shopping more today vs. pre-pandemic:

  • Amazon: 55%
  • Walmart: 36%
  • Online marketplace besides Amazon 35%
  • Small or local businesses: 24%
  • Target: 22%
  • Big box stores: 14%
  • Online or DTC brands: 12%
  • Department stores: 11%

For additional results and insights, please visit the BOXpoll website. The information and insights derived from BOXPoll are designed to help ecommerce clients of Pitney Bowes deliver Best Order eXperiences (that’s BOX for short) for their customers. Findings and analysis will be updated monthly.

“Pitney Bowes has been tracking consumer shopping behaviors for the past eight years through our annual Global Online Shopping Study. This year, with public health, culture, politics and economics intersecting and changing like never before, we created a new mechanism to help our clients listen to and learn from the market in real-time,” said Zegras. “BOXpoll allows us to iterate and learn. We can now test ideas and hypotheses quickly. We’re also asking our clients—many of the fastest-growing ecommerce brands and shippers—to share what they’d like us to ask consumers. As a result, we’re now able to share insights that accommodate the pace of change happening in the market today.”

Pitney Bowes BOXpoll is an example of proprietary market research the company conducts on behalf of its clients and releases publicly. Next week, the company will release the findings of its Parcel Shipping Index which measures parcel volume and spend across 13 major markets globally. In 2019, the Index found that annual parcel volumes reached 87 billion the prior year (the most recent year for which data was available) and projected that volumes would reach 200 billion in 2025.

BOXpoll Survey Methodology:

Morning Consult conducts weekly polls on behalf of Pitney Bowes among a national sample of more than 2,000 online shoppers. The data in this release is based on interviews conducted with 2,094 online shoppers in September. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, educational attainment, gender, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.

About Pitney Bowes:

Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) is a global technology company providing commerce solutions that power billions of transactions. Clients around the world, including 90 percent of the Fortune 500, rely on the accuracy and precision delivered by Pitney Bowes solutions, analytics, and APIs in the areas of ecommerce fulfillment, shipping and returns; cross-border ecommerce; office mailing and shipping; presort services; and financing. For 100 years Pitney Bowes has been innovating and delivering technologies that remove the complexity of getting commerce transactions precisely right. For additional information visit Pitney Bowes, the Craftsmen of Commerce, at www.pitneybowes.com.


Media contact:

Pitney Bowes

Brett Cody, (203) 218 1187

Director of Communications, Commerce Services


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