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Consumer eager to return to physical store

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A boost for hi-fi retailers and others: Mood Media research shows that consumers are comfortable with returning to physical stores.

As the world emerges from the coronary pandemic, 80 percent of consumers say they are comfortable going back to physical stores. This is according to a survey by Mood Media (Dutch). Confidence is rising, as more than 70 percent of consumers felt this way in 2020. In addition, most consumers say they are not spending more money than they did before the pandemic. Nevertheless, consumer spending worldwide does show an upward trend.

Encouraging Spending Patterns in ‘New Normal’

These encouraging results from Mood Media’s new study, Shopper Sentiments: A June 2021 Global Mood Survey, confirm that consumers are returning to physical stores in large numbers. Three in five (60 percent) of consumers surveyed expect their shopping habits to return to pre-pandemic levels before or around the end of this year. One-fifth (21 percent) of respondents say their shopping habits are already back to that level.

Consumers are also noticing their enthusiasm in their wallets. The percentage of respondents reporting an increase in their spending compared to the pre-pandemic period increased from 23 percent in September 2020 to 29 percent in June 2021.

Research

Mood Media, “a global leader in media solutions for improving the customer experience,” commissioned research in recent weeks to determine how consumers are adapting their physical shopping behavior and habits as coronas around the world appear to be easing. For the new study – a follow-up to last fall’s Shopper Sentiments: A September 2020 Global Mood Survey – more than 8,000 respondents in four key markets (United Kingdom, France, United States and China) participated in a comprehensive online survey by market research firm Censuswide.

Healthy buzz

“We are experiencing a healthy buzz as stores around the world reopen in a ‘new normal’. Consumers are eager to re-enter stores and experience the joy of shopping,” said Scott Moore, Global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Mood Media. “The pandemic put pressure on stores to innovate faster. This is leading to an accelerated ‘phygital’ evolution that merges the physical and digital shopping experience. The study highlights key phygital trends that will define retailers and the customer experience.”

Touch and fit the most missed

Consumers give some essential reasons for returning to physical stores. During the lockdown, they could not take advantage of the specific benefits of physical shopping, aspects that online shopping cannot offer. For example, nearly half (45 percent) of shoppers worldwide say they missed “touching and trying on” items on the spot the most when stores were closed. Another decisive reason is the fun and social experience of physical shopping, which was missed the most by 35 percent of consumers surveyed. Furthermore, many respondents also mentioned the ability to take the purchase home immediately (35 percent). However, the survey also shows that consumers are positive about the combination of physical and online shopping. One-third (33 percent) say they will continue to use Click and Collect and BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In-Store) services despite the relaxations.

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