Health, safety protocols remain most important factor for returning to a store

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Health, safety protocols remain most important factor for returning to a store

By Marianne Wilson - 07/22/2020

Stores that don’t adhere to responsible safety precautions are at a real risk of losing customers.  

Twenty-nine percent of consumers would stop shopping at a retailer altogether if they knew the brand was not implementing health and safety measures, according to new data from Ipsos’ Consumer Health & Safety Index, a health and safety benchmarking study that evaluates how retailers across five industries are operating amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Health and safety protocols remain the most important factor for returning to a store, increasing in importance from 42% in May to 48% in early July.

The first wave of the Consumer Health and Safety Index was conducted in May. It revealed that brands could be doing more to keep Americans safe. For example, 82% of stores audited across 45 national brands did not have hand sanitizing options available at or near checkout. 

Ipsos recommissioned the survey during the first week of July, with new data revealing that consumers are even more concerned about their safety than they were in May and are eager to see visible efforts from retailers to implement health and safety protocols.

“Consistent and visible execution of health and safety protocols drives consumers to return to stores,” said Nick Mercurio, executive VP and service line head of U.S. channel performance at Ipsos.

According to Ipsos, trust is highest among retailers that are making visible efforts in their stores to implement health and safety protocols, including clear reminders and signage, employees actively cleaning and clear investments from the brand, including company-issued employee safety equipment.

Here are other findings from the Ipsos report. 
• Grocery remains the most trusted industry across those measured by Ipsos, with 25% of consumers saying they trust grocery retailers the most for its health and safety protocols. Grocery also ranks highest in implementation with 32% of consumers ranking grocery as “best at implementing health and safety protocols.

• Pharmacy ranks second on trust.

• Wireless stores, quick- service restaurants, and gas stations are ranked lowest by consumers on both trust and implementation.

• 82% of consumers care concerned that relaxed health and safety protocols at stores will lead to a resurgence of COVID-19.  

• 27% of consumers would pay up to 10% more for products at stores they feel are doing a superior job ensuring their customers’ health and safety.
• 94% of consumers say that “stores that are doing a good job in health and safety compliance will earn my business.”

• Health and safety protocols remain the most important factor for returning to a store, increasing in importance from 42% in May to 48% in early July.