Contributor: Sarena Gerard, Senior Research Associate, GfK
Combining online and in-store shopping is a highly personal, consumer-driven experience that’s here to stay — one that predates COVID-19 but that has picked up major momentum over the last 18 months.
For many consumers, pivoting from in-store to online shopping was one survival tactic among many adopted to cope with pandemic lockdowns —and as the omnichannel trend continues to rise, many advertisers are working hard to get in front of consumers in both online and in-store environments. This is especially true in categories that have experienced strong omnichannel growth over the last year – among them clothing & fashion, household cleaning products, and packaged foods and beverages.
We know that consumer shopping behavior changed dramatically in 2020 – due to both restrictions and personal preferences. However, live events are on, places are open, and consumers are ready for it all.
The National Retail Federation revised their 2021 annual forecast and now projects that retail sales will total anywhere from $4.44 to $4.56 trillion this year. Yes, consumers are ready to shop, but where they shop, why they shop and what they buy will look different in 2021.
There have been numerous articles, studies and surveys on shift in consumer shopping preferences and behavior. While percentages for each survey may have varied, there was one consistent finding – Americans have increased their use of online transactions. The implication of this behavioral shift is not just limited to retail but also to banking – 27% of consumers agree that banks will be more flexible over the next two years.
Having just come off a long summer holiday weekend, parents of children across the U.S. are prepping for, or have already begun, back-to-school shopping. If you think it is too soon, think again. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 61% of consumers typically plan their back-to-school shopping around retail sales events like Fourth of July.
The role that vehicles play in the lives of consumers has shifted, and while they were once considered solely as a means of transportation, they quickly became a place to escape or for “me” time.
Supply chain issues for the auto industry – from vehicles to microchip shortages – are impacting the industry. However, while these issues might be considered a hinderance to sales, the opposite is true. According to a Kelly Blue Book (KBB) survey, 87% of consumers are aware that these issues are impacting both domestic and imported vehicles.
Throughout 2020, Americans across the country developed new pastimes. Some became DIYers, chefs, linguists, hikers and more. Others added to their household and became pet parents.
As people found themselves having to shelter in place, many decided to take the opportunity to add to their household by bringing in furry, feathered or aquatic companions. According to VitusVet data published by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average new pets and pet owners per practice per week spiked by July 2020 – the highest since July 2018.