According to a new shopping behavior study conducted by Bazaarvoice Inc., 80 percent of global consumers vow to stick with new brands purchased during the lockdown. And in a separate report from IBM, researchers there found consumer optimism at an all-time low.
Bazaarvoice’s latest report provides new data and insights from its network of 6,200 brands and retailers that serve to highlight consumer shopping behaviors created by the global pandemic and reveal consumer behaviors that show staying power. Additionally, Bazaarvoice surveyed 8,062 consumers across the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, France and Germany during July about purchase motivators and barriers.
Notably, as e-commerce has accelerated within the retail industry in recent months, the report says savvy shoppers have gone digital. Price continues to be an important factor for shoppers in the U.S., with 24 percent of respondents saying it is the “most influential factor in any purchases they will make in the next three months.” Consumers are also now much more likely to be persuaded by positive reviews and product ratings as they shop online. At the same time, 17 percent of U.S. consumers said the ability to buy products online will be a large factor as they decide how to shop.
“There is no question that the pandemic and the resulting physical store closures, as well as shoppers’ concern for safety, has catapulted e-commerce adoption at least five years into the future,” said Suzin Wold, senior vice president of marketing at Bazaarvoice. “During this time consumers have shopped online in unprecedented numbers and even though brick-and-mortar stores have opened, those numbers continue to be much higher than the same times last year.”
More than one-third of Gen Z and Millennials said they had connected with a brand app during quarantine with 66 percent saying they use mobile self-checkout methods in physical stores. According to Bazaarvoice, being able to communicate how products work, look, and feel effectively will be crucial for brands as consumers solidify habits of shopping digitally.
Data revealed that subscription services are also on the rise. Subscriptions were an early solution for consumers who struggled to get items at the beginning of quarantine as nonessential stores closed and grocery shelves were reported to be empty. The company’s survey found that 25 percent of consumers used a subscription service during quarantine and further found 85 percent of consumers will continue to pay for subscriptions post-lockdown. Consumers told the company ease was a major factor for the continuation of subscription services followed by confidence in product quality and reliable delivery.
“The result of this acceleration of e-commerce doesn’t just mean higher online sales,” said Wold. “Online consumers are now discovering, and sticking with, new brands, as well as increasingly flocking to subscription models of purchasing. This increasing dependence on the digital world of retail will undoubtedly even further blend the online and offline customer journey as shoppers return to in-person shopping going forward.”
Meanwhile, IBM’s latest COVID-19 consumer survey revealed waning optimism in America. The IBM Institute for Business Value’s monthly report polled more than 14,500 adults living in highly impacted countries across the globe to track month-to-month changes in consumer perception on the pandemic from April to August.
Although previous months have shown indications of workers wanting to continue working from home permanently, new survey data saw a decrease to 50 percent preferring to work remotely compared to 65 percent in July. A third of Americans told the company work preferences had changed due to mental health. Additionally, 47 percent of Americans said they feel strongly that employers should provide special accommodations for child-care needs, up from 41 percent in July.
Still, Americans showed optimism for the U.S. economy, with a third of respondents reporting they believe the U.S. economy will recover in 2021. Globally, respondents in India and China were the most optimistic about the economy’s potential to recover this year.
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