More Consumers Use Low-Contact Commerce

Food pickup and curbside pickup topped the list of most-often used services, according to a Gallup survey.

May 28, 2020

WASHINGTON—As the coronavirus pandemic continues, more U.S. consumers are using low-contact services, Gallup reports. Food pickup at restaurants (44%) and curbside pickup at stores (36%) topped the list of services used most often in recent weeks, according to Gallup surveys.

Takeout and curbside pickup have had double-digit jumps between late March/early April and mid-May. Store pickup rose 17 percentage points, while restaurant takeout increased 18 points. During the same period, U.S. adults also reported using more delivery of restaurant food, reporting a 10 point rise to 23%. However, Americans haven’t reported more reliance on deliveries for medical supplies or groceries, with both categories registering only slight increases.

Americans in all age groups said they were using the six convenience services Gallup tracks more often, but those under the age of 45 were more likely to report using them. Those services included takeout restaurant food and curbside pickup. Other services tracked include virtual doctor visits, restaurant delivery, grocery delivery and medicine/medical supplies delivery. While U.S. adults in all income groups significantly increased usage of low-contact services, those with annual incomes of $90,000 and higher used the services more frequently.

The latest data are from an online, probability-based Gallup Panel survey conducted May 11-17. Americans’ usage of these services was previously tracked March 23 through April 19.

As states ease business restrictions, more U.S. adults say they will come out of isolation, with nearly half visiting grocery stores, while restaurant visits are expected to soar. Many indicate they will proceed cautiously, which could mean low-contact services will continue to flourish.

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.