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Survey: Customers rely on traditional web during pandemic

A new study indicates that consumers have turned to tried-and-true digital means to receive COVID-19 information from retailers.

The survey of 1,000 consumers from digital design platform Adobe Spark reveals that 29% of respondents have looked to online/store websites to get updates from their favorite stores since COVID-19 began, with another 21% looking to online newsletters. Other methods include social media (19%), general news (17%), mobile (7%), and direct mail (7%).

Seven in 10 respondents say a website is the first platform they use to look for information on stores. The remaining 30% of respondents cited several social media sites, including Facebook (18%) and Instagram (9%). However, only 33% have directly communicated with a retailer via social media since the pandemic began.

When asked how their spending habits will change post-pandemic, 47% of respondents plan to shop more and 32% plan no changes. Another 10% will focus on shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, with only 7% planning to shop more via mobile and 4% seeking to increase their social media shopping.

During the next year or more, 31% of customers anticipate maintaining social distancing rules and 20% anticipate increasing online shopping. Seventeen percent anticipate performing aggressive budgeting.

Looking at consumer spending during the past few months, the survey finds small retailers may have seen some net benefit from the pandemic. More than four in 10 (42%) respondents invested more in small businesses, and 27% have invested more in chain and national retailers. About three in 10 (31%) have invested less in small business and cut back spending.

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