Email marketers should note the following change in consumer habits: People are eager to get back to stores, and it will no longer be enough to focus solely on getting them to buy online, judging by Mood:Media’s new study: 2021 Shopper Sentiments, conducted by Censuswide.
Of the shoppers polled, 80% are comfortable visiting physical stores, up from 77% last year. That number leaps to 86% in the U.S., versus 76% in the UK.
And they’re liking it — 54% say it makes them feel good, and 33% say very much so.
However, 48% of worldwide shoppers polled are worried they will catch COVID-19 in stores, only a slight decline from 49% in 2020.
The most concerned are in the younger age groups: 25- to-34-year-olds (59%) and 16- to-24-year-olds (46%).
The least worried are French consumers (30%) and Chinese (50%).
Online shopping remains popular in these product areas globally:
Grocery — 25%
Technology & electronics — 23%
Fashion & clothing — 22%
Moreover, 33% of shoppers enjoy Click and Collect Services/BOPIS and hope to continue using it, with the U.S. leading the way at 38%.
Chinese consumers are especially fond of QR codes that allow them to see products in stores and buy online, with 34% saying so, compared to the global average of 17%.
Retailers offering BOPIS and other such services need strong triggered and transactional email and/or SMS systems. It pays to invest in these systems even for brands expecting to conduct most business in-store.
Overall, 27% of consumers throughout the globe have changed their shopping habits, as have 34% in the U.S.
Moreover, 60% expect their shopping to hit pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year. Another 21% say this has already happened, but 18% say it will take another year. And 8% never expect a return to normal.
At 47%, U.S. millennials are most likely to say their behaviors have changed.
The most upbeat consumers are males in the U.S., 74% of whom are optimistic. The least sanguine are UK shoppers in general—in fact, 14% say their patterns will never return to what they were.
What have people missed most about shopping in stores? They cite:
Also, 32% miss the leisurely pace of in-store shopping, with 40% of Chinese respondents saying so.
Consumers see these benefits of brick-and-mortar (over online):
Censuswide surveyed 8,012 consumers in the UK, U.S., France and China from May 28-June 2021.