Consumer confidence about shopping in stores is on the rise.
Half of consumers are neutral (28%) or unconcerned (22%) about shopping in-store. While a third (34%) are still concerned, only 16% said they were currently very concerned, according to Sensormatic’s spring 2021 U.S. Consumer Sentiment Survey. Comparatively, in the spring 2020 survey, 79% of respondents were concerned (20%), moderately concerned (30%) or very concerned (29%) about shopping in-store.
Asked what technologies would make them feel more comfortable shopping in-store, consumers preferred social distancing monitoring (53%), self-checkout (53%) and mask detection (47%).
In other results, more than half of consumers (54%) shop most frequently for non-essential products at freestanding stores/strip centers, followed by open-air shopping centers (16%), online (14%), enclosed malls (9%) and outlets (7%).
Although consumers are shifting to freestanding stores and open-air shopping centers, their use of unified commerce services have remained consistent since the start of the pandemic. Just over a third (37%) of respondents reported using buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) and buy online, curbside pickup (34%) in the last month, a slight increase from when they were asked the same question in April 2020.
As retailers prioritize digitization efforts to meet shopper demands, it is critical to shift toward a higher level of precision,” said Kim Melvin, global leader of marketing, Sensormatic Solutions, a Johnson Controls company. “During the pandemic, many retailers created supply chain and fulfillment efficiencies to meet heightened customer expectations. Those that adopted technology for item-level inventory accuracy were able to deliver seamless shopper experiences and capitalize on increasingly popular fulfillment options, like BOPIS and curbside pickup, during a challenging time. This puts those retailers in a position of strength to continue meeting and exceeding consumer expectations now and in the future.”