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Delta Variant Quells Consumer Confidence

New research from Shopkick shows that 47 percent of “concerned shoppers” are worried about shopping in a physical store as the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to spread. The report also found that when shoppers do visit stores, they expect retailers to have in place safety measures and precautions.

“Just as normalcy appeared to be on the horizon, surges of COVID-19 cases brought by the Delta variant are once again leaving many Americans in fear of what’s to come,” the company noted in the report. “Thirty percent of shoppers are more worried about COVID-19 as Delta cases continue to rise, and 40 percent report feeling the same level of discomfort as they did one month ago.”

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Shopkick, which is a shopping rewards app, said of those concerned Americans mentioned above, “43 percent report that the Delta variant is impacting the way they shop, and nearly half (47 percent) are more worried about shopping in-store.” The survey results were based on a poll of nearly 11,500 consumers in the U.S.

The research showed that despite consumer concerns, they are still visiting stores. “In fact, most shoppers (67 percent) report taking the same amount of trips to the store per week as they did last month, and 10 percent have found themselves going more often,” authors of the report said. But they’re also cautious when visiting stores.

More than 60 percent of respondents said they are taking “extra precautions when shopping in-store due to the rise of Delta.” Within that group of more cautious consumers, “most are once again masking up while shopping (82 percent), using disinfectants on hands and carts (79 percent), shopping at less busy times (66 percent), using debit/credit cards to avoid exchanging cash (63 percent) and utilizing self-checkout (59 percent),” Shopkick said.

While visiting stores and to feel safer, 70 percent of those polled said they “expect retailers to enforce safety precautions.”

“Even with a surge in COVID-19 cases and consumers wary of in-person shopping, they are still heading in-store,” said Dave Fisch, general manager of Shopkick. “Retailers need to prioritize making the experience as enjoyable as possible, while doubling down their focus on safety. Shoppers will expect nothing less than stocked shelves, a demonstrable commitment to safety in your store and a trained staff setting the example.”