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BizReport : Ecommerce : August 10, 2020

How retail is changing mid-pandemic

Three new reports shed light on how retail, both online and offline, is changing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and may shed light on strategies that merchants, brands, and marketers can implement to better engage at this time.

by Kristina Knight

First, data out from UserTesting finds that more than three-quarters (85%) of US consumers have now ordered items for delivery or pick-up, with food being the leading item being ordered. However, the report authors note that this isn't the time for a business to move fully online because as lockdowns ease they do expect traffic to pickup to physical locations. In fact, fewer than 20% of their survey respondents said they will use pickup/delivery services post-pandemic.

And, out from Valassis, trends from the younger generation include how they value not only pricing but overall brand values, a signal that more merchants and brands should share their stance on sustainability, economic issues, and social justice reforms. Their research shows than 70% of people have increased their savings behaviors, and that nearly half (47%) of Gen Z shoppers say they are 'more likely' to make purchases from brands whose values match their own.

"The modern shopper is resilient, quick to adopt online shopping options and actively seeks value," said Michelle Engle, chief marketing officer at Valassis. "For brands to spark consumer discovery, they must connect consumers with marketing at precise moments to accelerate a purchase. Our findings help illuminate a path forward as brands re-establish their relationship with the consumer. With the right tools to fully understand consumer behavior - including the strong desire for savings and a flexible, seamless shopping experience - brands can deliver on consumer needs and buying intentions as well as tap into what motivates them."

More data from the Valassis report can be accessed here.

Meanwhile, researchers with Qubit expect the pandemic to greatly impact ecommerce, in particular. Their data indicates that currently half of consumers are doing nearly 75% of their shopping online; one-quarter are doing 90% of their shopping online. What's more, loyalty seems to be dropping; according to Qubit's research nearly half (40%) of shoppers say they're shopping with more brands now than they did just last year, and 46% say they are less loyal, even to favored brands, now than in the past.

"Our survey data shows that shopper behavior has changed radically since the pandemic spread globally and will continue to look different during the 2020 holiday season," said Graham Cooke, CEO and founder of Qubit. "Store closures that are not dictated by demand, but rather by the public health crisis, present an unusual scenario for brands, forcing unexpected and massive overhauls of their marketing and digital commerce strategies this year. The survey data also supports our view that a permanent shift in the balance of online and in-store shopping is occurring and is not likely to revert back entirely to pre-COVID-19 levels. Retailers are now forced to implement an expedited roadmap to their digital future or face extinction."

More Qubit data can be found here.

Tags: COVID-19, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, m:commerce trends, mobile marketing, Qubit, retail trends, UserTesting, Valassis

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