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Study: COVID-19 has made shoppers much more channel-agnostic

Al Urbanski
Half of Americans surveyed said that finding the same products online and in-store was important to them.

Free product returns for online purchases and the ability to buy the same products either in-store or online are two of the most important things that will be considered by Americans when choosing which retailers they’ll shop post-pandemic.

The three other concerns in the top five of a survey conducted this month by Coresight Research and January Digital are fast and free delivery of online orders, increased BOPIS options, and online customer support.

Despite their uptick in online buying during the pandemic, however, buy online/pick up in store options were not a high concern of older consumers. More than 30% of shoppers aged 18 to 60 were desirous of this important feature of omnichannel compared to just 13% of shoppers over 60.

A key finding of the survey is that the COVID-19 pandemic has made consumers more channel-agnostic than ever. More than a third of respondents to the Coresight/January survey said it was very important to them to be able to find and purchase the same products from a retailer both in-store and online. Another 17% said this was somewhat important.

Coresight Research’s emphasized that investing in agile supply chain and inventory management systems has never been more essential. Its report noted that events like the blockage of the Suez Canal and the Colonial Pipeline hack have shown that retailers who react the fastest to supply chain disruptions have the ability to win over otherwise frustrated consumers. 

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