Food delivery, online shopping, streaming services rise in popularity

Olivia Hohmann

Convenience, easy access and comfort prove to be the most popular trends to come out of Covid-19. Quarantine allowed many to replace going out to movie theaters, restaurants and stores with easier at home alternatives. And it looks like this trend is here to stay.

Now, after quarantine, 62 percent of students in a poll from September 10th still prefer to use online alternatives, such as using streaming services, food delivery apps and online shopping, to in-person activities

According to the news network CNBC, streaming services are taking over the movie market and putting box offices out of businesspeople spent 44 percent more time streaming television shows and movies at the end of the fourth quarter in 2020 than in 2019. Movie theaters used to be the place to go, but now with the easy access of streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Max, people are staying home.

“I prefer streaming services to movie theaters because it’s a lot more convenient to just watch a movie in my room than having to get ready and drive out to see a movie in a theater,” junior Mia Harrington said. “I used to like going out to movies with friends, but when they closed due to Covid-19, I watched a lot of Netflix in my free time.”

Here in Dallas, the cost of a single movie ticket at an AMC theater ranges between $10.69 and $13.69, not including buttery movie theater popcorn, king-sized candy and soft drinks. The price of going to the movie theater starts to add up, and although streaming services require a subscription, people think they get more out of it.

“I like streaming services more than going to movie services because I feel like there is a wider selection of movies. I also enjoy the fact that I can easily find a certain movie with a quick search of the name” said sophomore Addison Page.

People are able to watch whatever movie they want, whenever and wherever they want. The selection of movies is wide and contains a variety of genres. The movie world is truly their oyster. According to Insider, teenagers spend nearly 33 percent of their daily video consumption using Netflix, a popular way for teenagers to find TV shows and movies, as the service recommends shows for users.

“I learned to enjoy watching streaming services in the comfort of my own home,” Harrington said. “Instead of paying $10 for one drink at a theater, I can make my own drinks and snacks at my house for a lot less money.”

When people sit at movie theaters, it can sometimes be hard for them to get comfortable, especially when they have loud people sitting around them.

“A lot of my friends have movie rooms, so it’s more comfortable at their house than at a theater. I even would prefer to watch a movie in my room than I would at a theater now,” Harrington said.

When streaming services started to take over the movie industry people realized how much they enjoyed being able to watch things in the comfort of their own home. People even set up tents, watched movies outside and in the pool and created themed nights to match the selected movie, something that is not possible in theaters. Although the majority of people prefer to use streaming services, there are still others that find the whole experience of going out to the theater rather exciting.”I prefer streaming services to movie theaters because it’s a lot more convenient to just watch a movie in my room than having to get ready and drive out to see a movie in a theatre.”

“I prefer streaming services to movie theaters because it’s a lot more convenient to just watch a movie in my room than having to get ready and drive out to see a movie in a theatre.”

Mia Harrington, Junior

“I prefer theaters to streaming movies because I like the communal feel of a theater. It’s one of the few places where it is really comfortable to be alone and in a crowd. I think that love of watching movies in a theater may be generational; I remember going to movies as a family, and then with friends, and then for date nights…it used to be a big part of growing up” said English teacher Adian Richman.

During Covid-19, it also became popular to do Teleparties, formerly known as Netflix watch parties, with friends. Teleparty is a Google Chrome extension where people can log into their Netflix and other streaming service accounts. Once they log in, they can invite their friends to watch with them. They can watch the same TV show or movie and communicate via a chat bar on the side of the screen.. This allowed people to feel connected with others.

“I used to use Netflix watch parties during quarantine as it was very accessible,”  Page said. “All of my friends could log on and we could watch movies together. It was super nice as it was an easy way for me to keep in touch with them during Covid-19.”

Similar to the growing popularity of streaming services, food delivery apps such as DoorDash, Favor and UberEats have provided a convenient alternative to eating at a restaurant. Since Covid-19 limited people to eating out, they turned instead to food ordering apps, which allowed them to order from their favorite restaurants. Some, however, still prefer to eat out, such as Harrington.

“I think ordering food through an app like Favor is easy, but I prefer going out to eat,” Harrington said. “In early 2020, my family used food ordering systems a lot to avoid in person contact during the worst of Covid-19, but as restrictions decreased, so did our usage of these apps.”

Even though people are ready to go back out to restaurants, online food ordering apps are still just as popular. According to Morgan Stanley, the U.S. food delivery revenue in 2020 was $26.5 billion. These apps make people’s lives easier. Especially when teenagers are studying or getting home from sports late they are able to order something to be delivered.

“I don’t use these services often, but when I do it’s because they’re a lot more convenient,” said Harrington “Sometimes I won’t want to drive to get food, and I’m willing to pay the extra fee to get it delivered to my house.”

Online shopping has become more popular these past years.  Oftentimes, when people go into a boutique or shopping center, they have to go through racks and racks of clothing just to find that one piece of clothing that they truly want. Stores are also trying hard to boost their online presence through social media and their websites.  Stores will sometimes offer special discounts and early access to certain items when a buyer shops online. For example, stores will do Holiday and/or one day discounts only online. Additionally, online coupon codes on websites such as RetailMeNot allow shoppers to find exclusive online discounts that might not be available in-person.

“I prefer online shopping because stores like Lululemon have limited colors of clothes in store, and when I shop online they have a wider selection,” freshman Jane Leopard said. “Also, sometimes when I go to the stores, they are sold out of my size, but on the websites they often have it.”

And Leopard is not alone. According to a recent survey 56 percent of students prefer shopping online.

According to Digital Commerce, online shopping hit $791.70 billion in sales during 2020, up 33 percent from 2019. But even though the pandemic impacted online shopping, it was still popular before lockdown.

“I’ve always liked online shopping even before Covid-19, as it is easier when trying to find the type of clothes you want,” Leopard said. “I don’t have to go to the store and search around for hours. I can just easily find it with a quick search.”

Both online shopping and in-person shopping have their pros and cons. There are people who find both styles of shopping fun and effective.

“I like both online shopping and in-person shopping! I like to be around other people, overhearing snippets of conversation, seeing what they like and don’t like. I’m a sensory person, so I like touching all the fabrics or smelling all the perfumes,” said Richman. “Shopping online is quick and easy, and I love when my purchases come- it’s like someone sending me exactly the gift that I wanted!”

Online platforms make it easier for people to watch shows, dine and shop. Through the click of a button or through a quick Google search, everyday tasks become easier . The time during quarantine allowed everyone to realize how easy it is to use technology. Now, so many people rely on technology for basic activities, many people wonder if we will return back to normal pre-pandemic life.

“With the easy access of technology everything online is so much easier,” Leopard said. “I still enjoy going out to the movie theater, but online shopping and streaming services are nice as they are much more accessible.

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