What customers want after the lockdown – eCommerce Magazin

  • A new study by Simon-Kucher & Partners shows that 90 percent of consumers look forward to visiting local retailers again soon.
  • For 88 percent it is in the corona pandemic more important to support downtown retail.
  • 60 percent want the shopping spree to use local traders for more social activities.

Shopping in the city center instead of online shopping: 90 percent of the consumers surveyed look forward to it after the Lifting of the lockdown regulations to visit local shops again. 88 percent say it has become more important to them to support downtown retail compared to the pre-Covid-19 pandemic. 43 percent of those surveyed are even willing to spend more money on it. Brick and mortar retail also benefits from social aspects that consumers want to visit downtown. 60 percent use the local shopping tour to meet friends and family and 46 percent associate it with a visit to a café or restaurant.

Stationary trade
The top four reasons to visit the city center. (Graphic: Simon-Kucher & Partners)

Stationary retail: inner cities are becoming a social hub

“We see that stationary retail remains an important magnet for a lively inner city after the lockdown, but the relevance of inner cities as meeting points and social hubs is increasing,” says Dr. Tobias Maria Günter, as partner responsible for global consumer goods & retail practice at the strategy and marketing consultancy Simon-Kucher. For younger target groups in particular (53 percent), events such as city festivals or Christmas markets have become more important. Likewise, for 40 percent of those surveyed, that also plays Shopping atmosphere at the local retailer a bigger role. “Events with like-minded people, feel-good shopping, shopping experience: these are the factors that will lure consumers back to the city centers after the lockdown has ended. Offers that combine these factors bring synergies for the city, retail and consumers, ”explains Tobias Maria Günter.

Stationary trade
By visiting the city center, consumers primarily want to support local retailers. (Graphic: Simon-Kucher & Partners)

Changed customer expectations for retail

The study shows that compared to the time before the Covid-19 pandemic, attractive prices and special offers (40 percent) have become more important for consumers, as has the availability of goods (37 percent).

“The increased online shopping in the past few months has changed the demands of customers on local retailers: They are used to standards such as transparent price comparisons or the constant availability of articles from the Internet – and they now expect this also when shopping in the city center” , says Dr. Tim Frommeyer, manager of the global consumer goods & retail practice at Simon-Kucher. “In addition, especially for younger consumers between 16 and 34 years of age, accommodating return regulations, a home delivery service and Click & Collect offers have become a matter of course.”

Tobias Maria Günter adds: “The changed expectations of customers are both an opportunity and a challenge for local retailers. On the one hand, the importance of the shopping atmosphere has increased, local retailers can differentiate themselves from online shopping and offer added value. At the same time, there is also a strong wave of solidarity among consumers with stationary retailers in the city center – but this does not come unconditionally. Retailers must therefore develop their prices, product ranges, offers and services in a targeted manner in the new environment and – especially with a view to the younger target group – offer hybrid solutions in order to remain competitive. ”

About the methodology of the study: The study “Shopping behavior in the city center after the Covid-19 lockdown” was carried out by the management consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners conducted as an online survey in March 2021. 1,007 consumers in Germany were asked, among other things, to what extent the reasons for visiting the city center and the criteria for selecting local retailers had changed as a result of the lockdown. (sg)

Also read: Multichannel: How brick-and-mortar and digital retail merge