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From how we shop to what we watch, how this crisis has changed us

A consumer expert says these changes will be permanent.

TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. — From the way we shop to what watch, a lot has changed because of COVID-19. Some consumer experts say those changes may be permanent.

The health crisis has kept a lot of us at home, which meant a spike in home improvement projects and other changes in the way we live our lives.

A new survey has found that now more than ever, people are shopping online for groceries and more.

"Now, if possible, the number one shopping preference for consumers is online shopping delivered to their homes, and the second is a curbside pickup, so we have become much more comfortable and much more intuitive about how to find things," said Stacy DeBroff of Influence Central.

When it comes to entertainment, there have been big changes, too.

More people than ever say they're using streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, and more and more, they're streaming that content on their phones.

People surveyed indicated they may not return to theaters the way they once did to watch movies, some of which are now releasing just digitally.

"You see this movement to streaming things that can come into our homes and brands are realizing they can make money doing that. We're also seeing a huge jump in paid subscription services. People don't want to see ads, so if something new comes along, like Disney+, all of a sudden, they see a surge in signups."

Consumer experts believe these changes make sense because many were stuck at home during this crisis, but they said these changes in behavior will stick and remain after the crisis is over.

"We've shifted in a way that's lasted, so our comfort with online shopping, even our shifting to a more cashless economy so you'd rather not be handling currencies, our behaviors about germs and just washing our hands and our abilities to work from home," said DeBroff.

As we change how we work, shop, and what we watch, DeBroff adds that brands are also changing how they market things.