For the last 12 months, the number of COVID-19 victims has continued to swell, causing lots of movement restrictions. With millions of people opting to stay at home, even after the lockdowns have relaxed, in-store shopping isn’t an option in most parts of the world. However, that doesn’t mean that retail stores should cease operations until the current pandemic fades away.
Much like shoppers, the retail stores have been forced to make significant readjustments that make shopping safe and convenient for all. Here are some of the various shopping behaviors that shoppers and retailers have adopted during the current coronavirus pandemic.
01. It’s time to go digital for all
As COVID-19 continues to ravage economies worldwide, most retailers and shoppers are opting to go digital. What that means is that there has been a significant reduction in in-store shopping and a rise in e-commerce and contactless services. Drive-through, delivery, and pickup are among the services seeing higher adoption rates.
02. Online subscription services have grown exponentially
For those who buy certain products regularly, such as flowers, retailers are now switching to online subscription services. Compared to making frequent trips to a retail store, online subscription services have made it easy for consumers to purchase items from the comfort of their seats and with just a phone call or a few clicks. With weekly, biweekly, and monthly packages available, shoppers can now purchase items and have them delivered to their desired destinations when and how they want. Curious to know how online subscription services work, particularly for flowers? Take a look at the guide on Bouqs.com to understand this shopping trend better.
03. Retailers are adopting virtual queuing systems
With this year’s holiday shopping season coming during the pandemic, many retailers have adopted virtual queuing programs to ensure a safe environment for employees and visiting shoppers. As the name suggests, a virtual queue management system allows customers to book an appointment using a mobile phone or mobile ticket and wait remotely. This eliminates the need to wait in seemingly endless lines and avoids the possibility of injuries that come with scrambling for deals.
04. Shoppers are health-conscious
Most shoppers today are opting to shop at retailer stores with visible safety measures. For that reason, retailers have been forced to adopt creative measures that demonstrate their safety concerns. These include using physical barriers, enhanced cleaning points, healthy and hygienic packaging, cashless options, and extending the holiday shopping events.
05. Consumers are more frugal in their spending
It’s no secret that millions of workers have been idled since the onset of coronavirus. Those still working are seeing a fall in their income, and not many are optimistic about the future. As a result, consumers are more mindful about what they buy. What’s more, they are trading down to cheaper products that offer real bang for the buck.
06. Consumers are switching brands
For some brands and products, coronavirus has caused considerable disruptions in the supply chain. Since consumers cannot find their preferred products at the retail stores, they have been forced to change their shopping behavior. In other words, many consumers are opting to buy products from alternative brands. Health concerns, frugal spending, value, availability, and quality of products are among the factors promoting this change in shopping behavior.
While most of these habits have been adopted as a work-around to the current crisis, many will remain long-after coronavirus is gone. But let’s wait and see what the future holds for the retail industry.
For an in-depth view on the future of shopping and payments in a post-pandemic world, you can check out this infographic below.
Infographic created by Fiserv, an omnichannel ecommerce company