Infographic: While Shoppers Are Adapting, They Miss Much of What Retail Used to Provide

Consumers are viewing brands and their shopping experiences very differently

a woman pushing an empty shopping cart, looking through a barcode curtain
Shoppers are missing many elements on their old in-store shopping routines. Getty Images
Headshot of Nicole Ortiz

While the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic saw shopper confidence in brands that took a stand and provided additional information to consumers, a recent Momentum study shows that brand perception is beginning to drop and shoppers are starting to miss much of what comes along with the shopping experience, such as connecting with friends and casual browsing.

In August, 1,000 consumers across the U.S., U.K., Canada, Mexico and Spain were surveyed about their thoughts on retail during the pandemic. While many companies are trying to take a stand and help out during Covid-19, shoppers say it’s hard to distinguish which brands are doing what and that they all blend together. Because of this, private labels are seeing a boom in business, with 78% of respondents saying they purchase private labels more, as people are feeling less loyal to the household names that are often sold out and are just looking for any product that will get the desired job done.

With big shopping occasions, like back-to-school shopping and holiday shopping, consumers are hoping to preserve some sentimentality to make the events still feel special, despite it being a very different shopping environment. More than half feel that in-store shopping is safe (64%), showing the strength of sale periods, and many feel burned by unreliable shipping over the past year (67%), which is further driving a desire to head back to stores.

“A provocative insight we found is that while shoppers have adopted a more omnichannel approach to shopping, the vast majority miss the experience that accompanies shopping in-store,” said director of strategy at Momentum Worldwide Carly Johnson.

Although first-wave panic buying is done by now, shoppers are still wary about jumping completely back into old habits. Many are looking to their peers to follow their lead on returning to stores (38%), and while there is hope that things will return to normal, many are just looking to adapt for now and allay their worries.

Trent Joaquin/Momentum Worldwide

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@neco_ornot Nicole Ortiz is a senior editor at Adweek, overseeing magazine departments such as Trending, Talent Pool, Data Points, Voice and Perspective.