People ‘supporting local business more during the pandemic’

Feb 18, 2021 | E-commerce and E-retailing

People 'supporting local business more during the pandemic'
People are doing their part to support small businesses, with 53% buying from local restaurants and 33% shopping at local retailers – specifically to support them through the pandemic, according to new research.

The study, from marketing solutions company Vericast, also found that consumers are more open to exploring new retailers and restaurants amid the pandemic.

More specifically:

  • 53% of consumers are buying from local restaurants and 33% shopping at local retailers – specifically to support them through the pandemic
  • Consumers who have explored new retailers and restaurants have done so because of valuable offers (28% and 25%, respectively), motivations to try something new (24% and 33%), and convenience/ease of ordering (19% and 25%)
  • The elements consumers miss most about the in-store experience include browsing/discovering new products (45%), trying on apparel (40%) and testing products in-person (34%)

Based on responses from 1,000 U.S. adultsThese behaviors have been driven by valuable offers (28% and 25% for retailers and restaurants, respectively), motivations to try something new (24% and 33%), and convenience/ease of ordering (19% and 25%).

Consumers continue to favor convenience and plan to maintain the accelerated use of pick-up and delivery services post-pandemic. New shopping behaviors adopted as part of their routine in the future, include the increased use of convenient services such as restaurant carry-out (29%), third-party delivery (27%), buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) (21%) and grocery delivery (17%).

“The extreme events of the past year led to dramatic shifts in consumer behavior,” said Carrie Parker, SVP of Marketing at Vericast. “People changed the way they live, shop and consume media, and our research shows that consumers are eager to discover new products and services and are desiring convenience and – above all – savings.

For marketers, this year it’s critical to really understand your target consumers’ shifting behaviors and motivations and evolve with them, engaging across new media and connecting dots to deliver meaningful experiences and offers that meet their needs in specific moments.”

Additional findings from the survey include

  • Consumers miss in-store experiences

o The elements consumers miss most about the in-store experience include browsing/discovering new products (45%), trying on                  apparel (40%) and testing products in-person (34%).

  • Streaming TV usage is accelerating
    o More than half (57%) of consumers have increased time spent watching streaming TV during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Fitness resolutions begin at-home
    o While the first two months of each year are often a high-volume month for gym membership sales, only 13% of consumers plan to purchase in-person gym memberships; 12% plan to purchase virtual/at-home workout subscriptions.
    o The top planned purchases for consumers in the self-care and wellness categories over the next two months include stress relief products (23%) and exercise equipment (21%).

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