Study on purchasing behaviour during Coronavirus #3

Consumers long for reopening of shops

23 February 2021

The reopening of shops is eagerly awaited: Swiss consumers miss the shopping experience and want to see and experience products physically again, as the latest study by Profital, a brochure app, shows. The fact that retailers are trying to lure consumers with discounts is particularly convenient for consumers - because price is playing an increasingly important role for many people.

                Woman shopping in a fashion store
Consumers look forward to fashion shopping

How has purchasing behaviour changed during the second lockdown? Profital, the app for digital brochures and promotions, asked its users about this. The conclusion of the study conducted with 2,233 people is clear: the desire for the shopping experience is great. This even applies to food shops. While only 5% went shopping daily in the first lockdown, 21% did so in the second lockdown. Another 34% shop every three days, 40% once a week.

Online offers cannot replace the in-store shopping experience

The online services of closed shops are also used intensively. 56% have orders delivered to their home, 21% use Click & Collect - and only one in three does not shop online at all. But the offers on the internet cannot replace the shopping experience: 72% stated that they miss shopping in-store. The most frequently cited reasons are seeing, touching and trying on the products (74%) and the lack of a shopping experience (36%). But supporting local retailers (33%) and finding inspiration (31%) also play an important role. There is also a clear winner in terms of the product category that is missed the most: for 62%, it is clothing, shoes & accessories, followed by furniture & furnishings (32%) and electrical appliances (22%).

Stationary trade can look forward to high sales: purchasing intention is high.

When the shops are expected to reopen on 1 March, 30% plan to return to in-store shopping in the first week, while another 55% will wait for the initial rush to subside. “Overall, however, stationary trade can look forward to high sales," Profital Managing Director, Raphael Thommen, is convinced, "the reopening is eagerly awaited”. Nevertheless, the Coronavirus pandemic has not left consumers unscathed: although 22% have more money at their disposal than before the crisis, one in three are worse off. The result: price has become more important for 48%, quality plays a greater role for 32% and regionality for 25%.

The Coronavirus crisis is also leading to more conscious purchasing planning: 72% of respondents claimed to find out about promotions and discounts in advance - that's 23% more than in the first lockdown. The reopening of shops presents interesting opportunities, especially for price-conscious consumers. “Many shops are sitting on full stocks and will therefore rely on discount promotions to sell their products”, says Raphael Thommen. “By using our app, both retailers and consumers will be well prepared for the next shopping wave”.

About the study

Profital's study examines purchasing behaviour during the Coronavirus pandemic. For the study, 2,233 users of the Profital app were surveyed throughout Switzerland, 67% of them in German-speaking Switzerland, 24% in Western Switzerland and 9% in Ticino. The online consumer survey took place between 16 and 18 February 2021. This is already the fifth consumer study conducted by Profital since the outbreak of the pandemic.

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