The digital shiftBefore the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit the country in early 2020, offline shopping channels such as traditional and modern trade were popular among Indonesian consumers. However, the pandemic has shifted the distribution channel structure slightly toward online shopping channels. This shift can be attributed to social distancing restrictions and other health protocols enforced by the government that has forced people to stay at home more. Recent findings show that convenience and avoiding the spread of COVID-19 were some of the reasons why Indonesian consumers shopped online.
The growing interest in online shopping that has been brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has also redefined consumer buying behavior. Offline and online purchasing methods that were seen as two different ways of shopping have been integrated to enhance the consumer shopping experience. A recent study on overall offline and online consumer purchasing behavior in the country suggested that some consumers would do online research before purchasing the desired products in a brick-and-mortar store, and vice versa. This new way of shopping has provided Indonesian consumers with more shopping alternatives than before the pandemic. Besides, Indonesian consumers intended to continue the new shopping habit after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.