When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit a year ago, El Burrito Mercado, a longtime favorite in St. Paul, Minnesota, came up with a new point-of-sale (POS) system for their computer system, adding online ordering as an attractive option.

“We have curbside pickup,” explains Analita Silva, one of the three women owners of the family business that was founded in 1979. “From the beginning, it was really busy. It is working well for the bakery, grocery and our restaurant.

The bakery uses DoorDash, online food ordering as their online purchasing system, and the owners agree that customers are happy with the results.

“We can do groceries and cakes all in one order,” Analita explains.

Yet in the bread aisle, the customer preference remains to come in and smell the fresh bakery products each morning prior to making a purchase.

The owners have discussed the possibility of selling meal kits through the POS system, and they are exploring other avenues.

“I think online ordering is here to stay,” Analita says. “We are working on a more refined look. We hired a college student to come in and do photos for the online system. We have put products into categories so that customers can easily find what they want to order online. The system is working well.”

Recovery optimists

As more of the U.S. becomes eligible for vaccinations, consumers and companies are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. “Vaccine small talk” is infiltrating video conferences, and companies and consumers are beginning to talk and plan for a post-pandemic future.

Using data from the latest Nielsen Total Audience Report: Advertising Across Today’s Media, Nielsen has identified three primary consumer recovery groups: Recovery Optimists, Cautious Optimists and Recovery Pessimists.

While consumers who identify with these categories may change as the vaccine rollout progresses, age, gender and ethnicity are a few of the factors advertisers can consider when looking at who’s most optimistic and eager to spend.

Based on the results from a recent Nielsen survey, Hispanic consumers are more likely to be Recovery Optimists. During COVID-19, these respondents reported that they were moderately impacted by COVID-related restrictions, with 44% saying they were able to save more compared with 39% of all adults 18+. Over half (53%) said they were able to make “major” purchases ($500+) during the pandemic compared with 43% of adults 18+. 

In the next 12 months, Hispanic respondents say they are two times more likely to buy a new house than the average adult and more likely to buy or lease a new or used vehicle. These consumers are most eager to plan or book a vacation (71%), dine out at restaurants (70%) and visit coffee shops / cafes (69%). Advertisers can reach this consumer group while on their smartphone, where they spent more than 18 hours a week watching video, streaming audio and social networking in second-quarter 2020.