Consumers are still shopping in-store despite COVID-19, but will only make one stop

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread fear, anxiety, and uncertainty across the nation. As the pandemic intensifies week to week, consumers continue to shift the way that they shop to adjust to this new normal. 

Shopkick surveyed over 17,500 consumers across America from April 24 – 26 to gain insight into how consumers are shopping as the pandemic progresses. We asked shoppers what drives them to try out new products when their preferred brand is sold out, how the items on their shopping lists influence their decision to shop online or in-store, and more. 

Key findings:

  • Most consumers still prefer to shop in-store. Despite growing health and safety concerns, most consumers (77%) are still visiting physical stores to meet the majority of their grocery shopping needs. The driving force behind in-store shopping for many is the immediate satisfaction of taking products home the same day (49%), followed by product availability (30%), price (10%), product assortment (9%), and help from store associates (2%).
  • In-store shoppers prefer to make just one stop. Of those shopping in-store, 80% say that making only one stop to fulfill grocery shopping needs, even if it means sacrificing out-of-stock items, takes precedence over visiting multiple stores to find everything on their list. Those that visit just one store decide where to shop based on conveniences like distance from home and ease of shopping (39%), which safety precautions the retailer is implementing (22%), price (18%), and product assortment (17%).
  • Avoiding germ exposure is the main driver of online grocery shopping. While most are still doing the majority of their shopping in-store, 23% of consumers prefer to shop online as the pandemic unfolds. For a large majority (69%), this is to avoid germ exposure and contact with others. Other online shopping drivers include overall convenience and ease of shipping (15%), product availability (7%), price (5%), and to save time and avoid lines (4%). Additionally, 53% of online shoppers are utilizing curbside pickup options when available.
  • Shopping lists influence how consumers are shopping. 65% of consumers say that they adjust their shopping mode (in-store vs. online) depending on what they’re buying. Regardless of overall preference, most Americans (87%) agree that they’re more likely to shop for fresh, frozen, or refrigerated items in-store during the pandemic. And even with little risk of expiring or thawing, 71% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase shelf-stable items in-store at this time as well.
  • Price and availability drive consumers to try new brands. With essential items flying off grocery shelves, many consumers are trying out new products when their preferred brand is out of stock. When asked how loyal they are to brands at this time, a majority of consumers (61%) said that they are moderately loyal, compared to very loyal (14%) and not at all loyal (25%). Most consumers say they are driven to try new brands based on pricing or promotions (41%), or simply based on what’s in-stock at the time (38%). Others take name recognition (13%) and packaging or label content (4%) into consideration.

As consumer behaviors shift and the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold week to week, we will continue to help our partners navigate the shopping landscape during this uncharted time. Get in touch for more information. 

 

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