Pandemic changes holiday shopping


Perry Mellone

Although nearly eight out of ten Americans have made a purchase online, according to Pew Research Center, all things being equal, 64 percent of American consumers prefer shopping in stores. However, this year things definitely aren’t “equal” with research firm eMarketer estimate e-commerce sales will increase by 18 percent in 2020.

Hannah Beeler, Staff Reporter

From wearing a mask, to social distancing, to capacity limits, the pandemic has changed the way people find the perfect presents for their loved ones this holiday season.

“I chose to do online shopping because you’re able to discover cheaper deals much more quickly,” sophomore Vinh-Hy said via email. “When you’re shopping in person you only see one aspect of things in that specific store so it makes it harder to find out if I’m getting a good deal or not. Plus I do not think it’s a good idea for people to do in person shopping because covid cases have just recently hit a new wave.”

While some students have decided to shop from the comfort of their homes, others have decided to go out to shop.

“For this year’s holiday shopping, I chose to do in person shopping,” senior Alice Cai said. “After looking at online options, I mainly chose in person shopping over online shopping because I enjoy seeing the product on the aisles. And then that way I can get stuff, the day that I go out with instead of waiting for shipping and all that stuff.  It’s also a lot more efficient and I really like that because you don’t need to waste as much time or take a lot of time looking through 1000s of options on the internet.”

Those who have decided to shop in stores have taken various measures in order to stay safe.

“So, the precautions I took while I was shopping were just mainly maintaining that six feet distance and then also having my mask on while I’m shopping,” Cai said. “Whenever I get in the car, I always use hand sanitizer to clean my hands before I touch anything else that’s inside the car. And then after I buy my things, I usually wipe it down with an alcohol wipe. That way, I’m making sure that I’m not transferring anything from the store back to my house and anywhere in between.”

Some have also tried to experience the best of both worlds by shopping both online and in-stores.

“I have been shopping both online and in-person,” sophomore Jane Li said via email. “Shopping online was definitely way less stressful and tiring because I didn’t need to worry about being safe. However, shopping in-person, you know what you’re getting, so there’s no room for scams. You also can get your gift right when you purchase it instead of having to wait for it to ship.”