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AI-led Merchandising Tool Qubit Survey on COVID Impact on Shopping

Data reveals changing consumer attitudes accelerated by COVID-19, a lasting shift to digital commerce and diminished brand loyalty

Qubit, the leader in AI-led merchandising and personalized experiences, today announced findings from a new consumer survey, which sheds light on changing shopper habits and reveals what brands can expect during the upcoming holiday shopping season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted in July 2020 with 809 respondents located in the U.S. and U.K.

“Our survey data shows that shopper behavior has changed radically since the pandemic spread globally and will continue to look different during the 2020 holiday season,” said Graham Cooke, CEO and founder of Qubit. “Store closures that are not dictated by demand, but rather by the public health crisis, present an unusual scenario for brands, forcing unexpected and massive overhauls of their marketing and digital commerce strategies this year. The survey data also supports our view that a permanent shift in the balance of online and in-store shopping is occurring and is not likely to revert back entirely to pre-COVID-19 levels. Retailers are now forced to implement an expedited roadmap to their digital future or face extinction.”

Some of the insights in the survey reveal consumer sentiment towards present-day shopping realities:

  • 1 in 2 consumers currently do more than 75% of all their shopping online; 1 in 4 do more than 90% of their shopping online
  • More than 50% of consumers are shopping more with grocery brands, followed by fashion, and beauty and cosmetics
  • Loyalty is decreasing with almost 40% of consumers (36.6%) stating they now shop with more brands than they did a year ago; 46.2% of consumers say they are less loyal to the brands they love

The survey also gauged consumer attitudes towards the upcoming holiday shopping season and whether respondents’ shopping behavior and spending will change in the future compared to years past:

  • 35.1% of shoppers said they’ll shop online more than they did before the pandemic; meanwhile, just 10.6% of shoppers said they will do less shopping online than they did prior to the pandemic
  • 44% of respondents plan to shop more online during this year’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas holidays as compared to last year’s holiday season
  • Less than 30% of consumers feel comfortable returning to stores, with 36.1% saying they plan to return in two months and 18.9% of consumers returning in 2021

An infographic that captures the survey data and insights is available here.

Qubit is also hosting a webinar that will discuss the survey data along with brand anecdotes and case studies on August 5, 2020. Register for Qubit’s webinar, Christmas in July, here.

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