2021 will bring new challenges. They will not be the same challenges, as 2020 pretty much changed everything for companies and brands.
For example, the data from a study released by Travis Credit Union found that 95% of shoppers in the United States plan to shop mostly or entirely online due to COVID-19-related health concerns.
From November 9, 2020 to November 10, 2020, Travis Credit Union surveyed 2,018 U.S. consumers to learn about how they plan to shop this holiday season. Survey respondents were an average of 38 years old, while 55% were female and 45% were male.
Of those consumers who plan to shop mostly or entirely in-store, two in five said they will do so because they enjoy the in-store festivities and experience, while 20% said they want to support brick-and-mortar businesses.
Despite their enthusiasm and excitement, just 1 in 10 say they have no concerns when it comes to COVID-19.
Remember when several brands under the same company umbrella began to integrate their offline and online point-of-sale systems? Some companies are still struggling with this challenge.
I remember being in a two-story Crate & Barrel in Southern California. The salesperson told me I couldn’t purchase the items I found downstairs from an upstairs register.
Here in Southern California, I am thinking about two statistics from a report released from BlueVenn on Wednesday based on U.S. consumers who were polled.
What will it take for consumers to go back to shopping in stores? Around 12% who participated in a study from BlueVenn said they would not shop in-store until they get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Retail Study: The Changes In Consumer Shopping Behavior For Christmas 2020 And Beyond analyzes how COVID-19 has affected consumer shopping habits and how well retailers are able to understand and adapt to what BlueVenn calls the rise of the hybrid consumer.
BlueVenn commissioned research with Censuswide to poll the attitudes of American consumers and retailer marketers. The survey polled 2,027 consumers in the United States from November 18 through November 25, and retail marketers from November 13 through November 26.
About 57% of marketers admit they are concerned with the inability to adjust to changes in consumer behavior, and that percentage jumps to 62% of marketers working at retailers that generate $100 million to $500 million of revenue annually
Why? About 60% cited technology as the biggest barrier, but it also has to do with a lack of skills and resources, and with collecting offline data and merging it with online. About 61% of marketers fear losing regular customers to online channels.
When the holidays conclude, marketers also worry about returns. Anthony Botibol, vice president of marketing at BlueVenn, told a story about an unknown U.K. retailer that used to send expensive paper catalogs to a VIP list, women who would purchase five or more items. It was only once they merged their offline with online data, transactional with purchase, they realized these women would return the majority of the items bought online back to the store.
Marketers have considerable fears about their ability to react and respond, with 64% of U.S. consumers saying they will dramatically change the way they shop this year for the holidays.
We’ve already seen those changes with buy online and pickup at curbside, where customers only need to either call a number or click a link in a text message or email on their smartphone once they get to a store, and pop the trunk from within their car to receive their purchased goods. (Are you still wiping down packages you purchased with disinfectant, or is that over-the-top?)
Botibol cites this stat as being the most surprising: 86% of marketers from small business retail brands generating annual revenue between $130 million and $649 million are concerned they won’t be able to alter marketing efforts to cope with changes to consumer behavior.
Nearly half, 48%, of retailers are most worried they will fail to ensure personalization over multiple channels, 47% are concerned with missing their target customers, and 44% fear they will waste ad budgets.
Hybrid shoppers bought the majority of their items in stores last year in the U.S., but we all know that this year those numbers shifted dramatically. This year, according to Bluevenn, the average will shift to 56.5% online compared with 43.5% in-store.