Consumers eagerly await reopening of stores

Swiss consumers miss the shopping experience and want to see and experience products physically again, as a recent study by the prospect app Profital shows. The fact that retailers are tempting shoppers with discounts is particularly appealing to consumers - because price is playing an increasingly important role for many.

According to Profital's study, in-store shopping is eagerly anticipated. (Symbol image)

How has purchasing behavior changed in the second lockdown? The app Profital asked its users about this. The conclusion of the study, which was conducted with 2,233 people, is clear: The desire for shopping experiences is great. This even applies to grocery stores. While only 5 percent went shopping every day in the first lockdown, 21 percent did so in the second lockdown. Another 34 percent shop every three days, 40 percent once a week.


Online offerings cannot replace the in-store experience

The online services of the closed stores are also very popular. 56 percent of respondents have orders delivered to their homes, 21 percent use click & collect - and only one in three does not shop online at all. However, online services cannot replace the shopping experience: 72 percent said that they miss shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. The most frequently cited reasons are seeing, touching and trying on products (74%) and the lack of a shopping experience (36%). But supporting local retailers (33%) and being inspired (31%) also play an important role.

There is also a clear winner in the product category that is missed the most: For 62 percent, it is clothing, shoes & accessories, followed by furniture & furnishings (32%) and electrical appliances (22%).

(Source: Profital)

Stationary trade can look forward to high sales

When the stores are expected to reopen on March 1, 30 percent plan to return to stationary shopping in the first week, while another 55 percent are waiting for the first rush. "Overall, however, brick-and-mortar retailers can look forward to high sales," says Profital managing director Raphael Thommen with conviction, "the reopening is eagerly awaited." Nevertheless, the Corona pandemic has not left consumers unscathed: although 22 percent have more money at their disposal than before the Corona crisis, one in three is worse off than before. As a result, price has become more important for 48 percent, quality plays a greater role for 32 percent, and regionality for 25 percent.

(Source: Profital)

The Corona crisis is also leading to more conscious shopping planning: 72 percent of those surveyed said they find out about promotions and discounts in advance - that's 23 percent more than in the first lockdown. The reopening of stores offers interesting opportunities, especially for price-conscious consumers. "Many stores are sitting on full inventories and will therefore rely on discount promotions to sell their products," says Raphael Thommen.

The Profital study investigates purchasing behavior in times of Corona. For the study, 2,233 users of the Profital app were surveyed throughout Switzerland, including 67% in German-speaking Switzerland, 24% in French-speaking Switzerland, and 9% in Ticino. The online consumer survey took place between February 16 and 18, 2021. Profital has already conducted five studies since the outbreak of the pandemic.

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