Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Grocery Shopping and Delivery During Coronavirus Comes With Its Pain Points

Wait times, wearing masks and social distancing concerns make coronavirus grocery store trips stressful
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Although social distancing restrictions have started to ease in certain states, stress over the coronavirus pandemic is still very real for some. A recent study by Datassential, which polled over 3,000 United States consumers, revealed that a trip to the grocery store adds to pandemic stress for a variety of reasons. 

A trip to the grocery store can add to stress

A trip to the grocery store can add to stress
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The study found that a combination of safety concerns, social distancing issues and long lines has made grocery shopping during the pandemic very stressful. Datassential reports that this strain has impacted millennials and households with kids most. Here are the top concerns Americans have about going to the grocery store.

10. Concern over proper safety precautions

10. Concern over proper safety precautions
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

While it’s true that some states have been more successful at social distancing than others, 31% of survey respondents said their grocery store doesn’t seem to be doing enough to ensure their safety while shopping. This response was more likely among Generation Z, millennials and households with kids.

9. Finances

9. Finances
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

The coronavirus has put a financial strain on many people. Because of that, 39% of survey respondents said they avoid grocery stores due to finances. This response was more likely among millennials and households with kids.

8. Lack of trust when handling groceries

8. Lack of trust when handling groceries
Al Bello/Getty Images

Of the respondents, 40% said they don’t trust grocery store clerks to handle their groceries. Of the Generation Z respondents, 43% said they felt this lack of trust.

7. Lack of trust when getting groceries delivered

7. Lack of trust when getting groceries delivered
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

In the same vein, 46% of respondents said they don’t trust delivery drivers to handle their groceries properly. Of Generation Z respondents, 47% said they felt this lack of trust.

6. Long lines

6. Long lines
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Forty-seven percent of survey respondents said they avoid certain grocery stores that they would normally shop at now because of long lines. This response was more likely among households with kids.

5. Grocery shopping is a pain

5. Grocery shopping is a pain
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

More than half of respondents said they try to stay at home and avoid grocery shopping as much as possible.

4. Grabbing missed items is difficult

4. Grabbing missed items is difficult
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

According to the survey, 59% of respondents said that picking up a few items they forgot feels difficult and frustrating. Before going shopping, home cooks say it’s good practice to make a list of what you need first and to split the list into categories.

3. Lack of trust among fellow shoppers

3. Lack of trust among fellow shoppers
Mario Tama/Getty Images

There are a few ways you may not realize you’re being rude at the grocery store. And the survey reported that the majority, 60%, of participants don’t trust fellow shoppers to act responsibly while grocery shopping.

2. Safety concerns

2. Safety concerns
Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Sixty-four percent of responders said they’re trying to avoid grocery shopping as much as they can due to safety concerns.

1. Grocery shopping is more stressful since coronavirus

1. Grocery shopping is more stressful since coronavirus
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Sixty-six percent of survey takers said that a trip to the grocery store has become increasingly stressful since the coronavirus pandemic.

What are the biggest inconveniences?

What are the biggest inconveniences?
Scott Heins/Getty Images

Inconveniences being faced by grocery shoppers have added to the stress surrounding a trip to the store. Among the biggest inconveniences are items being out of stock, according to the survey. To counteract this, Costco made a policy limiting shoppers to a certain amount of meat per purchase. Here are the top nine things that have made life difficult for the average shopper.

9. Bagging their own groceries

9. Bagging their own groceries
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Twelve percent of millennials said that one of the biggest grocery shopping inconveniences is bagging their own groceries — 8% of overall respondents said they’ve also found this to be troublesome.

8. Limited access to staff

8. Limited access to staff
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

According to survey takers, 8% said one of the most inconvenient things about grocery shopping is that there’s less staff around to answer questions.

7. Reusable bags

7. Reusable bags
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Twelve percent of respondents said that not being able to use reusable bags is a disruptive part of grocery shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.

6. Confusion over navigating walkways

6. Confusion over navigating walkways
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Much like restaurants have had to change the way they operate, grocery stores have had to as well. Nearly 20% of survey takers said they’ve experienced confusion over how to navigate aisles and walkways due to misleading signs and instructions.

5. Changes in hours

5. Changes in hours
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Some supermarkets have changed their hours to accommodate the elderly and at-risk customers. Twenty percent of survey participants said that one of the most inconvenient parts about grocery shopping during the pandemic is the change in hours.

4. Lines to access the store

4. Lines to access the store
Al Bello/Getty Images

About 20% of respondents said that one of the most distressing parts of grocery shopping is having to wait in lines to get into the store.

3. Lines to check out

3. Lines to check out
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In the same vein, 23% of survey participants said one of the most inconvenient parts of grocery shopping is having to wait in lines to check out.

2. Prices seem higher than usual

2. Prices seem higher than usual
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

It’s true that prices have risen on popular grocery store items. And survey takers agree — 33% said that prices seem higher than they did prior to the pandemic.

1. Items are out of stock

1. Items are out of stock
JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

More than half of the respondents said that one of the most inconvenient parts about grocery shopping during the pandemic is that items they want to buy are out of stock. Among the boomer respondents, 70% said they experienced items being out of stock.

What are the biggest challenges of new safety measures?

What are the biggest challenges of new safety measures?
Kena Betancur/Getty Images

According to the survey, safety measures in place at grocery stores are something most shoppers can deal with. But more than a third of people feel like social distancing precautions and wearing a face mask are inconvenient when shopping.

6. Staff improperly handling groceries

6. Staff improperly handling groceries
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Among the total respondents, 9% said they felt staff handled their groceries improperly or unsafely. Households with kids were more likely to feel this way, according to the survey.

5. Limited access to hand sanitizer

5. Limited access to hand sanitizer
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Twenty-two percent of survey takers complained that there isn’t hand sanitizer dispersed throughout the grocery store.

4. Touching shopping carts

4. Touching shopping carts
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

There are many sources of hidden bacteria, and shoppers are concerned about where they could be lurking when at the supermarket. According to the data, 22% of survey participants said that one of the most worrisome parts about grocery shopping is having to touch the shopping carts and baskets.

3. Customers touching things and returning them to shelves

3. Customers touching things and returning them to shelves
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Similarly, 24% of respondents to the survey said one inconvenient part about grocery shopping is customers touching things and returning them to the shelves afterward. This choice was more likely among households with kids.

2. Wearing a mask

2. Wearing a mask
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

Thirty-four percent of respondents said that one of the most disruptive parts about grocery shopping is wearing a mask.

1. It’s hard to social distance

1. It’s hard to social distance
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

While it’s true that some states have more social distancing guidelines than others, 36% of survey respondents said one inconvenient part about grocery shopping is how challenging it is to social distance. This response was more likely among baby boomers.

What are the biggest inconveniences of online shopping?

What are the biggest inconveniences of online shopping?
Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock

According to the survey, online shoppers also experienced some inconveniences when purchasing groceries but relatively fewer than when shopping in stores. Here are the top 14 issues people face.

14. Couriers stole items

14. Couriers stole items
Scott Heins/Getty Images

Of the survey respondents, 5% said that couriers stealing items has been an inconvenient part about ordering groceries online.

13. Items are described poorly

13. Items are described poorly
EMS-FORSTER-PRODUCTIONS/DigitalVision via Getty Images

When shopping in person, you can peruse all your options next to each other on the shelf. But 8% of survey participants complain that there is a poor description of items when shopping online. Survey takers said that the size, quantity and varieties included were described poorly.

12. Online apps are hard to navigate

12. Online apps are hard to navigate
Tada Images/Shutterstock

While there are some services offering free delivery through third-party apps, 8% of respondents said they found online apps difficult to navigate.

11. Difficult to get problems resolved

11. Difficult to get problems resolved
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Less than 10% of respondents said that it's been difficult to get problems resolved when ordering groceries online.

10. Communication issues

10. Communication issues
izusek/E+ via Getty Images

One way to show your family you love them during the pandemic is by sending them groceries. But there have been some communication issues when ordering groceries online. Nine percent of survey respondents said they don’t know whether the order is confirmed or when it will come.

9. Couriers have unsafely handled their groceries

9. Couriers have unsafely handled their groceries
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Of the respondents, 9% said couriers have unsafely handled their groceries.

8. Receiving incorrect orders

8. Receiving incorrect orders
franckreporter/E+ via Getty Images

One of the most inconvenient parts about ordering groceries online is receiving incorrect orders, according to 9% of survey participants.

7. Delivery times are unreliable

7. Delivery times are unreliable
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Twelve percent of respondents said that unreliable delivery times are among the most inconvenient parts of online grocery shopping.

6. Items have to be substituted

6. Items have to be substituted
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Nine percent of respondents said that one bothersome part about ordering groceries online is having to make substitutions when something you ordered is unavailable.

5. Online prices and in-store prices seem to vary

5. Online prices and in-store prices seem to vary
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

According to 13% of survey respondents, online prices seem more expensive when ordering groceries for delivery compared to shopping in stores. If you do opt to grocery shop in person, check out our guide for how to cut your bill in half.

4. Long wait times for an open delivery window

4. Long wait times for an open delivery window
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Another obstacle when it comes to ordering groceries online has been long wait times for an open delivery window, which 15% of respondents said was among the most inconvenient parts about ordering online.

3. Not able to choose their own items

3. Not able to choose their own items
GREGG NEWTON/AFP via Getty Images

One of the best parts of grocery shopping is being able to hand-pick the ripest seasonal fruits and vegetables. Fifteen percent of survey takers said not getting to choose their own items like meat and produce is among the most disruptive parts of ordering their groceries online.

2. Extra fees

2. Extra fees
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

One of the downfalls to ordering groceries online is the extra fees. According to the study, 15% of respondents experienced surcharges and high delivery costs when ordering their groceries online.

1. There are limited options for online delivery

1. There are limited options for online delivery
PHILIP FONG/Contributor/AFP via Getty Images