Retail Reopens: Boost Consumers’ Confidence

Retail consumers' confidence

As non-essential retail opens today (12th April), retailers are keen to maximise their success. Understanding shoppers’ preferences and concerns will play an essential role in encouraging instore footfall in the months to come. Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Manhattan Associates, supply chain and omnichannel commerce experts, outlines consumers’ confidence in returning back to the shops.

Here are the findings that may prove useful for retailers looking to adapt their practices and boost consumers’ confidence as retail reopens in the UK:

34% of UK consumers surveyed said they had no desire to return because many well-established retail brands have disappeared from the high street. A further 8% of shoppers have said they will not return to the high street until they are fully vaccinated.

Aside from the lack of shops, people continue to fear spreading Covid-19: 60% of shoppers will put off a return to the high street until they have confidence that people are adhering to government guidelines around Covid-19 (e.g. wearing facemasks, social distancing). While 25% of consumers will hold back on visits to the high street because they are afraid of potentially catching Coronavirus. These concerns highlight the need for retailers to clearly communicate precautions in place, helping to grow consumers’ confidence.

Craig Summers, UK Managing Director, Manhattan Associates, commented: “Well known brands leaving the high street and an ongoing fear of Covid-19, has had an impact on consumer confidence to visit and enjoy shopping from 12th April. With fewer people intending to shop on the high street, retailers need to continue to rethink their approach, with 50% of consumers wanting shopper numbers limited in store and 16% want same-day delivery – especially amongst 18-24 year olds (29%) to reduce the handling of purchases, and 17% wanting till-less shopping to ensure social distancing.”

Other findings of note: 

  • 36% of consumers are put off returning to the high street because of a lack of sanitising facilities (e.g. hand sanitiser stations, bathrooms to wash hands). For males this figure sits at 29%; for females this figure is higher, 42%
  • 20% of shoppers said having to use public transport would prevent them from returning 
  • 24% of shoppers want stores linked to NHS Test and Trace or similar app so that they can be notified of Covid-19 contact
  • 18-24 year olds are most likely to shop online going forward (27%) followed by 26% of 25-34 year olds and 17% of over 55’s 
  • 28% of consumers are concerned about not being able to find the product they want to buy or because there is lack of stock availability
  • 57% of consumers expect to visit the high street for specific services that include hairdresser, barbers, nail salons and similar services
  • 35% of consumers expect to visit charity shops on the high street
  • 34% of shoppers were put off going back due to well known brands disappearing from the high street 

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,133 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29th – 30th March 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).