As COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed in the U.S., a consumer behavior survey from First Insight Inc. found a whopping one-third of respondents saying they are “unsure about receiving or will not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”
The report also showed a large number of shoppers expecting to shop for apparel less in-store while noting they were wary of trying clothes on in a store. The report found that 61 percent of those polled said they would cut back on spending if there was an enforced, national lockdown due to the pandemic.
The survey found that 40 percent of those polled said they expect to “shop for apparel in-store either less or the same amount after being vaccinated, a theme that is reflected across in-store visits for footwear (44 percent), accessories (43 percent), beauty products (45 percent), luxury items (41 percent) and electronics (43 percent).”
Greg Petro, chief executive officer of First Insight, said it is clear the vaccine is “not the silver bullet that is going to bring retail back from the brink.”
“Our latest research shows that even with a vaccine, people will still be afraid to go in-store, and fully prepared to cut back on spending if the nation returns to another lockdown,” Petro said. “It’s time for retailers to create better connections with consumers by targeting them with the right marketing messages, and bringing them the right product assortment, pricing and experiences that will entice them to spend both in-store as well as online.”
Petro said retailers and brands leverage his company’s “Voice of Customer” insights to help them understand their consumers better “and build relationships and experiences that can reinforce safety, strengthen loyalty and increase sales in this difficult environment.”
Other findings include the impact of COVID-19 spikes in the number of cases, which is keeping consumers away from physical stores. “Sixty percent of respondents to the First Insight survey stated that spikes in COVID-19 are deterring them from shopping in-store,” the company said, noting that shoppers are feeling “less safe now than before the holidays when trying on and testing products in-store.”
The poll found that 71 percent of respondents felt “unsafe testing beauty products compared to 67 percent in November of 2020 (a 6 percent increase)” while 62 percent felt unsafe trying on products in a dressing room “versus 55 percent in November (a 13 percent increase).”
By gender, the research found that “women are more worried about safety in-store than men.” The report found that while 63 percent of men feel unsafe testing beauty products in-store, “80 percent of women surveyed feel the same way.”
“Similarly, 51 percent of men feel unsafe trying on products in dressing rooms versus 73 percent of women,” First Insight said. “Fifty-two percent of men versus 67 percent of women feel unsafe trying on shoes, and 51 percent of men versus 68 percent of women feel unsafe working with a sales associate.”
The report is part of an ongoing series of consumer sentiment surveys. This was the ninth report in the series, and results were culled from 1,000 participants.