Technology

Shoppers Get Strategic on Store Visits, Finds New Survey

Fewer trips mean more mindful consumers
Young woman shopping with face mask
Photograph: Shutterstock

A new survey from Ubimo, a Quotient brand specializing in out-of-home (OOH) technology, finds that despite the surge in e-commerce, 90.4% of consumers are still opting for at least one in-person shopping trip per week during the pandemic. The survey further found that when consumers leave their homes, 92.9% have a specific plan in mind about what stores they need to visit and what they need to buy, as opposed to just 63.2% who did so before the pandemic. 

The survey also discovered that today’s shoppers are quite loyal to their preferred brick-and-mortar store. “When it comes to which stores they visit, 82% of consumers always (16.9%) or usually (65.1%) go to the same stores every time,” Ubimo reports. No surprisingly, older shoppers are more likely to regularly visit the same stores compared to their younger cohorts.

“This presents an opportunity for brands to maximize customer loyalty through membership programs and other initiatives,” said Ubimo, which spoke to more than 1,000 consumers nationwide in August to uncover how consumer shopping behavior has changed due to the pandemic. The survey explores why consumers are taking fewer/more purposeful shopping trips, whether they go to the same stores on each trip, and how they perceive different advertising channels, including out-of-home and social media.

While the majority of brick-and-mortar shoppers (53.9%) currently venture out only once a week, more than one-third (36.5%) of respondents visit a store twice or more often each week, according to the survey.

This is just one of many ways shopper behavior has changed due to COVID, said Ubimo, pointing to perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the survey’s findings: “Gen Z respondents illustrated the smallest change in behavior, with less than half indicating they shifted their shopping from in-store to online. By far the most popular shift among those surveyed was making the change to a single shopping trip during the week.”

Other key findings of the Ubimo survey include:

  • More than two-thirds of consumers plan ahead to reduce time spent outside the home and prevent from catching/spreading the virus. This is particularly true for Gen Zers and millennials.  
  • 65.6% of consumers notice OOH advertising on their shopping trips (81.7% notice it more or about the same during the pandemic and 60.4% are likely to purchase a product on their shopping trip after seeing an OOH ad, especially millennials.)
  • 63% of consumers believe the brand messaging within an ad is important during the pandemic.

The OOH technology specialists at Ubimo said the survey also indicates that consumers are tuned into OOH during the pandemic, with ads in-stores (groceries, pharmacies, etc.) and billboards rated as the most memorable forms of OOH advertisement for each gender and generation.

In general, noted Ubimo, 65.6% of consumers notice OOH advertising on their shopping trips, with 60.4% of those who notice OOH ads likely to purchase a product on their shopping trip after seeing one.

“Also crucial information for brands, the survey results show that 63% of consumers believe the brand messaging within an ad is important during the pandemic,” said Ubimo, which further reports that millennials are the most likely (66.4%) to be persuaded to make a purchase after seeing an OOH ad compared with Gen Xers and Zers.

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