Shoppers are cautiously returning to post-pandemic life, albeit with some permanent changes, according to a new global study from Momentum Worldwide. Only 16% say they will immediately go back to the way things were pre-pandemic.
Shoppers will take a more omni-channel approach to their grocery shopping. Those with prior experience with online delivery services are more likely than those who just started using it during the pandemic to keep doing so. Poor experiences are the most common complaint for them stopping these services.
It is unlikely people will ever purchase a mere four rolls of toilet paper as the era of “bulk buying” is here to stay. Three in four shoppers (76%) prefer to now purchase larger formats of their preferred household brands.
Although groceries (62%) are the top categories consumers are most likely to continue to purchase online, shoppers also expect to spend more time online shopping post-pandemic versus a year earlier for home goods (59%), clothes (55%), books/music/games (51%), electronics/batteries (48%), and tools (42%).
Despite more time spent in front of their screens, the vast majority of consumers miss the in-person experience. They miss spending time with friends and family (83%), physically touching products (79%), casually browsing for items (77%) and hunting for a great deal (77%).
The stores they miss the most are clothing/shoe shops (75%), grocery stores (74%), home goods (66%) and electronics stores (61%).
Another pandemic shift is pragmatism. Their time is spent more about completing a task to check off a list than actually “shopping.” Compared to pre-pandemic, 43% of people now make a shopping list, 40% research products online, 36% price compare across several retailers and another 36% actively look for sales items through coupons or discounts.
The vast majority of shoppers (87%) say seeing a company give support during this pandemic has improved their perception of the brand and 82% will now seek out these brands. But 78% say it is hard to remember specific brands because so many have done so and 64% feel brands are flooding them with empty promises.
Research for the “COVID-19 Shopper and Retail Pulse Study” was conducted in late May using mPulse, Momentum’s proprietary consumer research panel. It covered 1,600 respondents in markets including the UK, U.S., Canada, Europe, Middle East & Asia.