Surging Delta Variant Continues to Impact the Way Consumers Shop

Shopkick survey finds that 47 percent of concerned shoppers are worried about shopping in-store 

Just as normalcy appeared to be on the horizon, surges of COVID-19 cases brought by the Delta variant are once again leaving many Americans in fear of what’s to come. Thirty percent of shoppers are more worried about COVID as Delta cases continue to rise, and 40 percent report feeling the same level of discomfort as they did one month ago. Of those concerned Americans, 43 percent report that the Delta variant is impacting the way they shop, and nearly half (47 percent) are more worried about shopping in-store. 

Shopkick surveyed nearly 11,500 consumers across the country to gain an understanding of how the Delta variant is impacting their shopping habits. The online survey was conducted between July 21 – 27, 2021. 

Key Insights Include: 

  • Proceeding with (Pre)Caution: The majority of shoppers (61 percent) are taking extra precautions when shopping in-store due to the rise of Delta. Of those cautious consumers, most are once again masking up while shopping (82 percent), using disinfectants on hands and carts (79 percent), shopping at less busy times (66 percent), using debit/credit cards to avoid exchanging cash (63 percent), and utilizing self-checkout (59 percent).
  • Concerning Counterparts: Of the consumers worried about shopping in-store, 85 percent are worried that other shoppers are not taking the proper safety precautions. To feel safer, the majority of shoppers (70 percent) expect retailers to enforce safety precautions. However, 59 percent of worried shoppers fear retailers will fall short of this expectation. Consumers hope to see retailers disinfecting carts (83 percent), enforcing social distancing (65 percent), mandating masks (65 percent), limiting store capacity (42 percent), and putting a cap on the number of essential products each shopper can purchase (38 percent). 
  • In-Store Stays on Top: Despite consumer fears, shoppers are still headed in-store. In fact, most shoppers (67 percent) report taking the same amount of trips to the store per week as they did last month, and 10 percent have found themselves going more often.
  • Changed Consumers: Fifty-five percent of consumers report that the pandemic has changed the way they will shop forever. Post-pandemic, shoppers expect to continue to stock up on essentials (57 percent), shop online more (56 percent), and make fewer, but bigger, shopping trips (53 percent). However, after the pandemic, fewer shoppers plan to prioritize availability over brand preference (37 percent) and utilize convenience options like BOPIS (14 percent). 

“Even with a surge in COVID cases and consumers wary of in-person shopping, they are still heading in-store,” said Dave Fisch, general manager of Shopkick. “Retailers need to prioritize making the experience as enjoyable as possible, while doubling down their focus on safety. Shoppers will expect nothing less than stocked shelves, a demonstrable commitment to safety in your store, and a trained staff setting the example.” 

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