Press Release | March 27, 2020

Video Streaming, Contactless Grocery Delivery Use Soars Amid COVID-19 Outbreak, CTA Study Finds

Riya Anandwala

As millions stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, American households are embracing a major lifestyle shift – by consuming video streaming services at a higher rate and adopting newer tech solutions such as contactless food/grocery delivery and fitness apps for their daily needs, according to a new study by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®.

The COVID-19 Impact Study: Use of Technology at Home found that online delivery options are proving to be an essential tool during physical social distancing as more than half (53%) have used or are considering using contactless grocery delivery services, a key feature many companies are offering to prevent contact between customers and delivery personnel.

Under the current circumstances, half of consumers are now watching live TV (49%) and online streaming video (48%) more often, the study notes. More than a quarter (26%) are using new video streaming services such as Netflix for the first time. Gaming applications are also getting more traffic – nearly one-third (31%) of consumers say their household is using online gaming more often, and 20% say they are watching gaming livestreams more often. Similarly, streaming music apps are also seeing greater adoption as 31% say their household’s use of online music services has gone up recently.

“As people are social distancing and staying home, technology is providing comfort, entertainment, options for food delivery and outlets for social interaction to help people adjust to this new reality,” said Steve Koenig, VP, research, CTA. “The health crisis has accelerated adoption across these platforms and services, and many of these behaviors may stick once the pandemic is contained.”

Additional key findings include:

  • To stay connected with family and friends as well as informed about current events, 42% are using social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook more often

  • A quarter of U.S. households have started purchasing non-food items online more often and about 12% of households are considering doing so

  • As gyms and fitness centers around the country temporarily close their doors to customers, 11% report using health and fitness apps more often than usual

  • More than a third of U.S. households have also purchased tech devices over the past week to help them adjust to this evolving reality. The top five recent tech purchases include smartphones (14%) at the top, followed by laptops (12%), TVs (11%), wireless earbuds/headphones (11%) and wired earbuds or headphones (9%)

“More and more businesses are limiting shoppers in their stores, which is leading to a heavy reliance on delivery services and apps for grocery, food as well as other household items like medicine,” Koenig said. “We will see a consistent uptick in demand for these services as the period of social distancing continues. Even though social interactions are restricted during these tough times, tech is bringing us closer to loved ones and helping us readjust to daily life.”

The COVID-19 Impact Study: Use of Technology at Home report was designed and formulated by CTA and represents findings from a quantitative study that was administered to an online sample of 1004 U.S. respondents. Survey data was collected between March 20 and 22, 2020.