The impact of vaccination on shopping online vs offline

Interesting times lead to interesting findings.
Every month we monitor what it is going on in the world of e-commerce. From predicting the number one product category, to reviewing consumer satisfaction, to the share of offline (in brick-and-mortar) vs. online stores and the loyalty of consumers to online channels. Obviously, there is lots going on in the online- and offline channels, just like the rest of the offline world.

So, this time we have something very interesting to share on how one particular offline decision and thus behavior, is impacting an online behavior. Want to know what it is? Find out below in our new short blog.

Let’s start with an introduction. What we know for sure from almost 24 months of tracking consumer behavior is that consumer Loyalty to the online channel is heavily correlated to age. The younger the consumer, the most likely it is that this consumer spends more online, than offline. The age group of 18–29-year old’s for instance, 50-60% of total spend is for online (across UK, NL, DE and NO). The older age group of 70+ counters the percentage of online spending. On average 20-30% of all total spending of the 70+ of age group is done online. This is a significant difference compared to younger age groups.

We continue to investigate data with different age groups and their loyalty to online spending, in mind.

September 2021 is a month where things and daily life was pretty normal. Countries start to open up again, people coming home from their summer holiday, going out to dinner and perhaps even danced some nights away in the clubs.
The vaccination rates still climb in this first month of autumn season. On September 4th the Netherlands leads the quartet with a share of the total population fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with 65.6%. The UK is close behind and sees a share of 63.6%. Germany and Norway follow with 60.9% and 60.6% respectively. Shifting gears and looking at the numbers as per January 29, 2022, where we see an even higher percentage: Germany 73.3%, Norway 73%, Netherlands 71.7% and the UK 70.9%.
All of this makes us wonder: what is the impact of vaccination on online shopping? Where do vaccinated shoppers go to buy? Online or offline? And what about people who choose to (or perhaps cannot) be vaccinated?

(This link leads you to the tables of share of fully vaccinated population against Covid-19.) 

Next, we lay the vaccination data on top of our data on Loyalty to online spending.

From September to this day, we measure the vaccination rate of our population, anonymously. By asking this we can add an extra filter to our data. This filter is then also split up in age groups.

What do we see?
There is no impact of vaccination among consumers aged 18-49 on online loyalty. The online share of total spend is the same whether you’re vaccinated or not. A jab in the arm does not cause for a shift from online shopping to offline shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, for this age group.

We do need to mention that the share of vaccinated consumers also is heavily correlated to age, as around 65% of 18-29-year old’s are vaccinated. This share increases to 95% in the age group of consumers 70+. This means that the size of the consumer segment likely to shift a share of their purchases back to brick-and-mortar stores post vaccination/post-pandemic (unvaccinated consumers aged 50 and above) is only 4% of the full consumer base. That means it will have minimal impact.

So what is all of this telling us?
In short: if you as a shopper are over the age of 50 and are not vaccinated, your share of spending online is significantly higher compared to the vaccinated shoppers of any age.

What’s next?
In a matter of days, we tell you all about the outlook of February. What is the biggest product category? How do Dutch, German, Norwegian and British consumers plan to shop in February? More online/offline? Stay tuned for more insights.