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A Few Thoughts As We Head Into 2021

By Dave Fisch, General Manager of Shopkick

And just like that, we’ve made it to the end of what was an unimaginable year – from social distancing to face coverings to the occasional, frantic search for toilet paper. Something many of us learned this year is that a lot can change practically overnight, because almost everything did. 

Our team realized early on in the pandemic that what our retail and brand partners needed most was clear insights into consumers’ rapidly shifting behaviors and preferences. That’s why, since March, we’ve been regularly surveying thousands of people across the country on how, where and when they’re shopping. The insights have helped illuminate the best strategies for navigating these difficult times.  

Our survey data showed us that – contrary to popular belief – this year didn’t kill the physical store. In fact, most people will continue to purchase both essential and non-essential items in brick-and-mortar stores next year, with 77 percent of our users this month saying they appreciate opportunities to earn kicks in-store during the pandemic. However, even with a vaccine on its way, Americans expect retailers to maintain the health and safety measures put in place during the pandemic, like offering disinfectants around the store, plexiglass barriers at checkout, employees and shoppers wearing protective face coverings, and 6-feet social distancing markers.

Now, as we approach 2021, we have an inside look into how this past year completely changed shopping habits in more ways than one.  

According to our most recent survey of more than 14,000 Americans, the various impacts of the pandemic may have forever changed how people shop. Many of the consumer behavior trends that arose this year will likely continue into next, including:

  1. Staying stocked up on essential items
  2. Taking fewer, but bigger shopping trips
  3. Buying more online
  4. Caring less about brand names
  5. Using options like BOPIS more often

Overall, there’s a lot to be learned about how 2020 changed the future of consumer behavior. And as we plan for the new year, we will continue doing our part in keeping brands and retailers informed to best meet the needs and expectations of their shoppers, while also continuing to make everyday shopping (whether online or in-store) as fun and rewarding as possible. 

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday season, from all of us at Shopkick.