As much of the world has embraced social distancing as a way to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s naturally been a decline in shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. While most people had used online shopping in some way before the pandemic, today’s situation means many are turning to ecommerce for things they normally would have purchased in person. Supplies such as food, pet products, health and beauty products, medications, and other home essentials are now shopped for via the internet.

One report shows how much people are relying on online shopping. According to the Adobe May 2020 Digital Economy Index (DEI), which tracks the state of e-commerce, online shopping levels during COVID-19 (April to May) were higher than what retailers saw during the previous 2019 holiday season of November to December.

While you might think that this shift to ecommerce reliance might be temporary, experts are saying that consumer habits are changing in ways that might endure beyond the pandemic and determine how the future of sales will look like – and who the leaders will be.

Take Instacart, for instance. There are few activities that have been upset more than grocery shopping, which people still would rather do in person. All that changed in just a few short weeks, however, when the pandemic broke.

According to several surveys, more than a third of all Americans have ordered groceries online for the first time during the last few months, and Instacart was perfectly poised to take advantage of this. When compared to mega-retailers like Target, Amazon and Walmart, Instacart doesn’t seem so big. But it has the advantage of working with multiple grocery chains rather than directly selling products on its own, unlike most of its competitors, giving shoppers easy access and flexibility they want.

Other items people usually shop for in person – pet products, prescriptions, beauty supplies – are also on the list of products that people will most likely continue to buy online even after the pandemic passes.

One other change experts see happening is people deciding to shop from their smart phones rather than their computers. Online retailers have been quick to roll out streamlined and user-friendly apps making it very easy to shop online for just about anything. Despite people generally spending more time at home these days where they have access to desktops and laptops, they are using smartphones for their shopping.

How does all of this affect us here in our community? No matter what you use to shop with, you’ll need internet access to get it done. Softcom’s secure, high-speed internet connection services means that people throughout Central California’s rural regions can log onto their Instacart, Amazon, Walmart or Target apps to get their essentials and stay safe while they do it.

Softcom currently provides internet service to the following cities: Acampo, Clements, Collierville, Courtland, East Stockton, Elk Grove, Galt, Herald, Isleton, Lake Camanche, Lockeford, Lodi, Morada, North Stockton, Thornton, Victor, Walnut Grove, Wilton, Woodbridge, and Youngstown. If you live in those cities or the surrounding areas, you can check to see if you fall within our service boundaries by checking the map on our website. Even if it seems that you fall outside the boundaries, don’t give up. Please call our customer service team at (800) 982-7675 and they will check. We are constantly adding new towers and upgrading our equipment in order to give our customers the best service as we expand our range.