Who Has Access to E-Commerce During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Sacramento Region? Implications for Future E-Commerce and Shopping Tripmaking

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about dramatic shifts in travel, including shopping trips. The authors investigated changes in e-shopping for food and non-food items by supplementing an April to May 2018 household travel survey (n=3,956 households) conducted by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) with a May 2020 follow-on panel survey (n=313 households) during one week early in the pandemic. Results demonstrate that impacts from added pickups and deliveries in the SACOG region during the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic were limited and did not overwhelm curb management at retail, restaurant, and grocery establishments. Results also show that during the pandemic e-commerce tended to replace non-food shopping trips, but complemented restaurant and grocery trips. However, forty percent of the sample households — predominantly lower income and/or older populations — still shopped only in-store for food while more affluent households appear to have isolated themselves from virus exposure through more extensive online shopping. The authors recommend extending the forms of accepted payment for online shopping and reducing fees and markups based upon payment method to reduce barrier to online shopping for those with limited resources. The authors identify possible consequences (e.g., more vehicle miles traveled and higher demand for curbside parking) if e-commerce food purchasing continues to grow post-pandemic or if in-person retail shopping returns to normal.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Cover date: August 2021.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of California, Berkeley

    Institute of Transportation Studies
    McLaughlin Hall
    Berkeley, CA  United States  94720
  • Authors:
    • Forscher, Teddy
    • Deakin, Elizabeth
    • Walker, Joan
    • Shaheen, Susan
  • Publication Date: 2021-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 57p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01832635
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UC-ITS-2020-22
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 18 2022 9:02AM