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GAME CHANGER

There are only a few moments in life when buying habits change, and a pandemic is one of them

A woman wears a face masks as she views her mobile phone during the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease
Reuters/Mike Blake
Shopping in 2020.
Marc Bain
By Marc Bain

Fashion reporter

The buying habits of shoppers tend to change slowly. Covid-19, however, has been disruptive enough to shake them up, and companies are trying to take advantage.

Josh Silverman, CEO of Etsy, an online marketplace focused on handmade and vintage goods, described how he sees the pandemic reshaping normal consumer behavior during an Aug. 5 earnings call to discuss the company’s recent quarter:

We are all creatures of habit, and shopping is largely habit-driven. There are very few times in one’s life when you have an opportunity to reshape their habits. The classic three are when you get married, when you move [your] home and when you have a baby. And otherwise, your habits are pretty cemented, and you’re not really open to forming new habits. And so what this current moment has created is a moment when everyone’s habits are up for grabs.

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