COVID-19/Coronavirus: Has The Pandemic Changed Our Online Shopping Ways Forever?

The COVID-19 global pandemic has been the deadliest we’ve seen in recent times (the last one being the SARS outbreak in 2002). With a rising death toll and thousands of people infected across 203 countries, there’s legitimate concern by governments and their constituents about when, exactly, will life get back to normal—if ever. 

The coronavirus outbreak has seen citizens across many countries scrambling to get the essentials for fear or food and other items running out. This has led to many everyday essentials, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and canned food flying off supermarket shelves. But, this panic buying that’s been triggered by CIVID-19 isn’t just a phenomenon witnessed by the traditional retailers, the brick-and-mortar stores. 

Roughly three quarters (73%) of those surveyed say that the way companies conduct themselves during the crisis will impact whether they do business with those brands or retailers in the future.

There’s a current growing cacophony of reports stating that customers are increasingly turning towards hemp and hemp-derived products online. And, according to two recent studies, the digital hemp oil/CBD product retailers will have something to smile about very soon in the form of more online shoppers. Here’s the data to back up the anecdotal observations.

Conducted in March 2020, the research from the GfK study conducted nationally as a representative study shows that 85% of all Americans expect to change their purchase behavior because of COVID-19. On the flip side, consumers in the survey also warned that COVID-19 may also have longterm impacts for some brands. Roughly three quarters (73%) of those surveyed say that the way companies conduct themselves during the crisis will impact whether they do business with those brands or retailers in the future.

Another highly-regarded survey, this one conducted by the Brightfield Group in March 2020, revealed three significant, game-changing conclusions:

  1. 1. 48% of CBD users plan on buying more CBD products during crisis
  2. 2. 33% plan to switch from retail (brick-and-mortar) to e-commerce (online)
  3. 3. 15% plan to take/buy more CBD, mostly Gen Z and Millennials

So, why the rush to buy more hemp-based products, including hemp oil/CBD, online? 

The perceived benefits from hemp-based products were finally realized by the US government that rolled out its forward-thinking policy in the form of the 2018 Farm Bill. This legalized the use of hemp and hemp-based products in the US. And while some states still retained the final decision on whether to legalize hemp in their respective states, hemp and hemp-derived products are widely being used in most US states. 

One of the major reasons for the popularity of hemp and hemp-derived products is the fact that cannabinoids, the active compound in the hemp plant, has been known to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety. 

The cannabinoids found in hemp have also been recognized for their positive effects on the immune system since the molecules of cannabinoids promote better functioning of the endocannabinoid system in humans. This is important since there is some correlation between the health of the endocannabinoid system and the immune system, which basically means that while there is no scientific evidence to back this claim yet, using hemp or hemp-derived products could be beneficial when it comes to boosting the immune system. 

This is one reason why many in the hemp industry are foreseeing a spike in hemp sales after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Since more and more people are looking to improve their immune health, they are turning towards superfoods, which includes hemp and other related foods that could help boost their immune system and keep them safe from the coronavirus. 

That said, as pointed out by the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry in the UK, there isn’t any scientific evidence of any kind that suggests that hemp or hemp-derived products, are treatments for COVID-19. Not even a little. So, even if you do wish to include hemp oil/CBD into your daily diet, it’s best to look at it as a supplement may promote immune health, and leave at that.  

–PuraPhy Staff Report