Shoppers miss the physical, human side of shopping in-store following a year of COVID-19 restrictions.
That’s according to research by design agency ChaseDesign, which found that 78% of U.S. consumers plan to shop more in-store this year than before. Forty-two percent said they miss able being able to touch and feel products — and 63% miss getting out of the house.
To create a positive in-store experience for the consumers, retailers must ensure there is an inviting in-store atmosphere (54%) and employ believable, knowledgeable staff (50%) to meet consumer expectations, according to the study. There are some stores that are already leading the way when it comes to in-store experience such as Target, which was ranked No. 1 by research participants, with Walmart a close second.
Consumers want to return to physical retail, with digital being used to support and enhance the physical shopping experience through the use of QR codes, apps and self-checkout systems. Technology must be utilized to make it easier and more interesting for consumers to return in-store, the study advised. Also, brands need to be well-stocked and ready for returning consumers.
“Our research clearly shows consumers want to enjoy physical shopping once again,” said Joe Lampertius, president, ChaseDesign. “When consumers do return, they will be using technology such as retailers apps and self-checkout to make their experience better. Retailers need to take this into consideration stock and get ready to build connections with old and new customers.”