Perspectives

From The Co-Founders

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Tips, Tactics & Strategic Insights and Commentary
from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts

Wait. Shoppers Expecting Even More?

It has begun; the 4th quarter of the year. But sadly, Covid-19, the Delta variant, and now the Alpha variant will have huge influence. 

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of opinions and predictions about the economy, whether from Wall Street, the Fed, Capitol Hill, or your buying group or retail trade association. 

Amidst all this, we were intrigued by a report that could be of far more value to retailersresults of a monthly survey of consumer concerns.* After all, for retailers, the shopper matters much more than the pundits on the business pages.

This particular study has been tracking the impact of Covid-19 on consumer attitudes and behaviors. It is conducted and analyzed monthly, allowing the tracking of trends over time. 


Shoppers Want You to Keep Them Safe

Looks like your shoppers want assurance that Covid will not be a gift-with-purchase this year.

  • Among all the respondents, over half prefer to shop at retailers that require masks. 
     
  • Almost two-thirds  (including 27% of the unvaxxed) prefer to wear masks in public at this point in time.

It appears that the need to keep enforcing and even merchandising your Covid safety protocols has not declined. 

And who has the most interest in feeling safe? The majority of people, those who already have taken steps to protect themselves, the folks who have gotten vaccinated.

This study compares the attitudes and concerns of vaccinated consumers to those who will not get a vaccine. For instance:

  • Among vaccinated consumers, the greatest concern about Covid is Covid itself. 

    Over half of the vaccinated have concerns for friends and family becoming infected, or getting infected themselves. 

     
  • "The unvaxxed" (those who will not get a vaccine) are not concerned about Covid's health threat. Only about 1 out of 3 sees a Covid infection as a threat to themselves or any friends or family member.

    Instead, the major concerns of the unvaxxed are extended lockdowns and extended mask mandates.

 

What Is a Shared Concern? Inflation

Meanwhile, whether vaxxed or unvaxxed, these consumers are thinking about the economy. The rising prices on "essential goods and services" are taking their toll. 

In our view, the increased costs at the grocery store and gas station will only heighten the anxiety of Holiday shoppers. 

Shoppers are determined to have this year's Holiday season compensate for a very muted 2020 Holiday. And they are aware of merchandise shortages, increased shipping costs, and longer delivery times. 

These shoppers are being very pro-active. In other words, the 2021 Holiday shopping season likely is already underway! 

  • They urgently want to be safe.
  • And just as urgently, they want to buy before prices go higher. 
  • And they also want their football team to win...

You can do all that, right?? 

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COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment & Impact on Behavior. Numerator.



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