Customers returning to pandemic-induced scepticism over in-person interactions

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
September 14, 2021, 5:08 PM UTC

The lurking Delta variant of the virus and faltering immunization rates have nudged consumers to return to behaviours they exhibited in the initial months of the pandemic.

According to a Numerator study, 20% of consumers are “highly optimistic” about returning to normal. About a third of customers said they were eager to return to normal at the beginning of summer this year.

According to the Berkeley Research Group, 60% of customers will opt for a mix of online and in-person shopping for the holiday season. Additionally, a mere 13% will choose to shop entirely in physical stores, while 24% plan for shopping online. Similarly, half of all the respondents expected a full reopening to be delayed until 2022 or later.

Back in June, 18% of the respondents had expected a delay in reopening, with the number rising to 23% in July. Several retailers have also reported rising freight costs and inventory constraints. Since customers are set to favour services like curbside pickup, retailers should prepare to offer omnichannel services.

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