IDK, maybe being undecided is a choice

They may be unsure who to vote for or how they feel about the pandemic, but undecided voters are certain about these two things.

On the eve of an historic election in the US, we wanted to take a look at the ecommerce worldview of one elusive group of consumers: undecided voters. While they may only comprise 6% of US adults (as of October 23-25), they’re seemingly on everyone’s minds for the moment. For context, we’ve run our BOXpoll surveys since the beginning of September — here’s how many respondents categorized themselves as ‘undecided’ voters each week since then:

What we found is that undecided voters are just more non-committal about…well, everything. In nearly every BOXpoll question where we’ve offered a “don’t know” or “no opinion” option—undecided voters are significantly more likely to not know how to answer the question. They are:

  • 1.6x more likely to not know what phase of the pandemic their communities are in
  • 4x more likely to not know whether they believe COVID-19 is a legitimate health issue
  • 5x more likely to not know how concerned they feel about the pandemic
  • 2.4x more likely to not know whether they're going do more on holiday shopping this year versus last year
  • And 2-3x more likely on average to say they "don't know" about any question we've asked about any future shopping behavior

Note the base size for undecided voters is small (145), so these numbers are directional. But even so, these responses are so decidedly undecided, it begs the question: are undecided voters just not good at answering surveys? Do surveys make them feel uncomfortable?

Voting for something at last

We were this-close to calling this indecisiveness pathological before we came across two topics where undecided voters seem to buck the trend and actually push their chips in:

Here’s one thing ‘decided’ and undecided voters can agree on: they’ll still be shopping online more after life returns to “normal”.

  1. Decided on being homebodies. When we asked what they expected to do more—or less—of after the COVID-19 pandemic had ended and life returned back to “normal”, undecided voters said they would work from home more than ‘decided’ voters (by 7 percentage points), and would eat/cook at home more (by 3pp).
  2. Decided on shopping online. On the topic of post-pandemic ecommerce, undecided voters feel just the same as ‘decided’ voters—45-46% of each group felt they’d be shopping online more in the new “normal”. Presumably in between working, cooking and eating at home.

At the end of the day, with or without a decision in front of them, it seems online consumers keep consumerin’.


BOXpollTM by Pitney Bowes, a weekly consumer survey on current events, culture,and ecommerce logistics. Conducted by Pitney Bowes with Morning Consult //2094 US consumers surveyed October 2020.© Copyright 2020 Pitney Bowes Inc.

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