The COVID-19 pandemic triggered shifts in consumer behavior, forcing brands and retailers to adapt to drastically altered shopping preferences, supply chain upheaval, mandated changes to store operations and an economic downturn – all at once.
Some of the critical changes in shopper behavior may never return to pre-pandemic routines. While they may initially have been forced to change their shopping activity in response to safety concerns or even government regulations, it now seems clear that many shoppers will stick with the new habits. It may not be that they favor the new habits, but continue to find a measure of caution appropriate. The industry faces a double-edged challenge: Sustain the digital momentum while prepping for experiential in-store shopping to attract consumers back inside.