Editor's note: Antje Sardo is senior research analyst at research firm GutCheck. 

E-commerce has gained a significant role in consumer retail over the past few years and plays a huge part of today’s shopping experience. Online platforms like Amazon, Shopify and Alibaba have upended traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores and give consumers more choices and convenience than ever before. The shift to e-commerce, which was already well on its way, rapidly increased when the pandemic hit in March. Data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index shows that COVID-19 hastened the move to e-commerce by five full years. Shoppers had no choice: They could either order their products online or risk potential exposure to the virus. 

With many of GutCheck’s clients playing in the retail space, we wanted to examine the state of e-commerce after the initial peak of the pandemic and explore how consumer attitudes and behaviors may have changed. As the pandemic continues to impact our daily lives and extends with social distancing, mask requirements, online schooling and remote working – just to name a few – this new age of e-commerce will not be reverting back to pre-COVID-19 times and retailers will have to adapt or risk losing valuable customers to those who have.

In June, GutCheck surveyed more than 2,000 consumers who had shopped online in the past month. The survey was conducted online with respondents recruited though panels and our sample was balanced by gender, age, region and income to ensure fair representation when screening for online shoppers. The objective of the study was to explore not only how the pandemic impacts consumers’ current e-commerce habits but also understand how they’ll shop online after the virus subsides.

Here’s what we found.

From Gen Z to Baby Boomers, consumers across every generation increased their online shopping and some consumers tried shopping online for the first time durin...