The pendulum of post-ish pandemic recovery spending across apparel, domestic travel, experiences and luxury, has already swung back more quickly than expected.  Ahead of the ever competitive holiday shopping season, retailers should prepare for increased spending and consumer’s demand for convenience to remain.  A Year of Agility—What Post-ish Covid-19 Consumer Behavior Looks Like Right Now report produced by Coresight Research & January Digital, identifies exclusive new research on US consumer behavior and priorities. Critical Insights:  1)The Post-ish Covid-19 Consumer Demands Convenience and Ease to Remain Top 3 features US consumers consider “very important” in continued purchase decisions:
  1. 50% expect fast, free delivery
  2. Nearly 50% desire easy, free product returns for online orders
  3. 1/3 (33.4%) demand a single accurate cross-channel view of product availability and brand experience (with another 17.4% saying that it is “somewhat important” to them)
However, when broken down by age demographic, over 34% of US consumers under the age of 45 ranked BOPIS third. In a recent webinar discussing the research and key consumer shopping behavior, Caroline Massullo, VP, Head of eCommerce Marketing at Peapod Digital Labs said, “The ​pandemic pushed people further towards demanding a channel agnostic experience. Having the same assortment curated in customers’ local stores that is available online with prices that match are baseline expectations. However, in this post-pandemic world where people are getting ‘back to the aisle,’ creating a synergistic approach to foster discovery in-store and pushing to bring that into the eCommerce space needs to be based on a deeply data-informed holistic consumer journey and communication touchpoints strategy. It is absolutely critical.” 2) Who is Spending and What are They Buying? Low-income consumers plan to spend 18 percentage points more on retail products this summer than they did amid the pandemic, most likely due to unstable employment circumstances and economic downturn that disproportionately affected this segment. Experiential spending is slated to skyrocket with 42% of high-income consumers planning to travel and eat out after they receive vaccinations (a trend which will start to show as early as this 3)  Pre-Pandemic Shopping Habits Are Back, But Not All Has Changed While the proportion of consumers purchasing clothing products in stores has risen by more than 7 percentage points over the last three months, online grocery – the poster child for pandemic spending shifts – has remained steady and continues to be as relevant as it was during the pandemic with no sign of slowing down. However, as our own SVP of Client Strategy & Consulting, Tierney Wilson, had so astutely pointed out, “Personalization, last mile delivery logistics, localization or BOPIS are not new concepts, but customers are making it clear that getting these conveniences right and making them truly tailored is more important than ever. Be surgical in your approach to understanding what moves the needle for your specific business and lean in.

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