Customers expect more
Consumers are looking to cut spend, buy online and do so safely and securely. The virus has clearly accelerated the move online and has driven a new group of customers - the older demographics – to switch. Both the grocery and non-grocery sectors responded well to this demand, sustaining the desire for such convenience to continue.
Nowhere is the combined impact of the global consumer trends more noticeable than in the consumer and retail sectors. The convenience that is afforded by shopping online is a key driver of increased use of digital channels, both for grocery and non-grocery purchases.
At the same time, consumers will go to physical stores only when the price is right, when it is convenient and when it is safe to do so. They expect retailers to ensure physical safety, which is now top of mind when asked about what stores should do.
Local shops have fostered new relationships as they care for the vulnerable and the elderly, providing welcome delivery services. Of those who will prioritise shopping locally, about 9 in 10 are willing to pay more for local products, where their spending has a noticeable impact on the local economy and where they can trust the provider.
This is bound up in a much greater sense of place, community spirit and concern for the environment with respondents wanting to see greater support from retailers for local communities and nearly one in four interested their own region’s products.
What does this mean in the new reality?
Physical retail will need to offer consumers new reasons to purchase offline. With price and convenience being key to consumers‘ decision making, retailers will need to develop their online and last mile logistics and delivery capability and manage the balance between home delivery and in-store product ranges.
The trend towards local products may revitalize tertiary high streets, which have seen a decline over the past years. Organizations will need to align their supply chains to the growing trend of a desire for localness. This is more than just sourcing — companies will need to be demonstrably supporting communities, new community networks and being locally relevant.