At the beginning of May, Intouch Insight released a wide-scale North American survey, designed to gather insights that would help businesses better understand how to adapt in a COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 world.
The survey included three primary areas of focus:
What consumers expect;
How purchasing habits are changing;
And, the business impacts so far.
Leveraging our platform, we received over 2000 responses and identified some pretty amazing findings.
#1 - It is time to optimize your digital properties.
As a business, now is the time to invest in your digital presence. Consumers are looking for easy and reliable online experiences, especially for those who feel uncomfortable leaving the house. Online shopping has increased by 52% according to our respondents. And, if you are new to selling online and looking to introduce curb-side or in-store pick-up, 78% of our respondents said they would prefer to pay in-advance online, as opposed to paying at the door at the time of pick-up.
Take this time to look at your IT infrastructure. Make it easy for consumers to shop from any device, anywhere, at any time. Try to mirror the same experience and quality of product and service that they would expect to receive in-store.
#2 - Cleanliness and security rule.
In today’s climate, customers want to be reassured of their safety and security when making purchases and going out to run errands. 61% of our respondents feel that cleanliness and safety is their top priority when deciding whether or not to make an in-store purchase. Consumers also feel that by implementing crowd control measures and by visibly reinforcing proper sanitization practices, their chance of shopping in-store will increase.
It has never been more important to make your operational procedures and standards such as cleaning and sanitization, a highly-visible and customer-facing activity. Cleanliness efforts that were traditionally done out of the customer view should now be part of a more visible production. For example, consider welcoming a customer into your store and sanitizing and wiping down their shopping cart before passing it to them. Instantly, you’ve created a sense of control and awareness over the environment and added a layer of security they may be needing.
#3 - Consumers want to feel comfortable.
Comfort is both physiological and emotional, and right now, consumers are looking to be reassured that they are safe when interacting with a business. Similar to the above with improved cleanliness, seeing disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers in stores and available for customer use is extremely important to today's consumer. 52% of respondents feel that improved cleanliness and sanitation in stores and restaurants will make them more comfortable. And 40% of respondents feel that it is extremely important to visibly post and enforce distancing measures and safety guidelines in-store.
As the economy begins to reopen, it is becoming more and more apparent that the status quo will no longer suffice. Consumer habits, needs, and expectations have changed for good. For businesses, this change presents a unique challenge, but also an opportunity to rebuild for a better and brighter tomorrow. It has never been more important to listen to your customers. You need to be able to anticipate their needs.
The time to act is now.
We hope that this study helps businesses adapt and embrace the future of retail. And remember, if your customers find it easy to shop with you, and feel safe and comfortable, they’ll come back.
If you would like to read the full survey report, you can do so by clicking here.