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How to reach consumers spending less during COVID-19 pandemic

Retailers seeking to grow their share of shrinking consumer spend should pay close attention to their stock levels.

According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers from Blue Yonder (formerly JDA Software), consumers are spending less on retail, and in general. Almost half (49%) of respondents have spent less money in general since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with 22% of this group stating they’ve made a significant decrease in spending.

Six in 10 (59%) respondents are spending less on retail specifically because they are avoiding going out in public and not able to purchase things in-person. However, the majority of respondents are spending more on food and water (56%), household cleaning supplies (37%), and hand sanitizer/hand soap (36%)

Results also indicate inventory trumps brand loyalty during this crisis. Almost nine in 10 (87%) respondents have been experiencing more out-of-stock products both in-store and online. About eight in 10 (79%) said they were somewhat likely or very likely to buy the same product from a different retailer if a desired product was out of stock. Similarly, 79% of respondents are likely to buy a different brand of a product from the same retailer if their desired brand of that product is out-of-stock. 

Consumers still shop in-store for groceries, but results show delivery services have gained traction. Close to seven in 10 (68%) respondents continue to shop for groceries in-store, but 29% prefer using online delivery services. For comparison, Blue Yonder surveyed 1,000 consumers in 2019 and 24% of all respondents had ever used a grocery delivery service for their weekly shopping trip.

One-third of respondents aged 18-29, 25% of those 45-60 and 24% of those 60 and older said they prefer to use online delivery services during the coronavirus crisis. For comparison, the aforementioned 2019 survey found only 20% of those 45-60 and only 12% of those 60 and older preferred to use grocery delivery services.

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