As more consumers are getting vaccinated against Covid-19, they’re feeling ready to shop in store again, according to a new report from IBM’s Institute for Business Value.
A whopping 73% of consumers who typically shopped in stores surveyed by IBM said they intend to return again after being vaccinated, Chain Store Age reported. Toys, games and hobbies are the biggest attractors for in-store shoppers, with a shift to in-store spending of 121%, followed by footwear and accessories (76%). Being able to purchase local goods not available online is another reason shoppers are eager to return to stores, the report found.
Vaccinated guests are more likely to return for in-store promotions as well, with 55% of Gen Z respondents saying it’s a compelling reason to shop and 52% of those over 55.
While many consumers will feel confident to return to stores once they’re vaccinated, a significant portion still feel uneasy. Nearly 1 in 4 shoppers in the U.S. and U.K. say they don’t feel safe shopping in-store and no longer enjoy the experience. In addition, 1 in 5 consumers say they will continue to shop primarily online, with many citing convenience, value and variety as the top reasons to shop online.
To bring in more consumers, retailers may have to do more heavy lifting when it comes to safety.
“This means safety and customer experience could be a top priority for brands and retailers as they navigate the post-pandemic marketplace,” the report reads. “However, designing a frictionless shopping experience may be even more important.”
A frictionless shopping experience means many retailers will have to continue ramping up their omnichannel solutions, ensuring consumers can shop online or in-store with digital touchpoints connecting both.