Key takeaways from the survey
Teresa Barreira, CMO of Publicis Sapient, stated, "We conducted the research from the standpoint that all consumer decisions are made by people. Their needs are beyond a single utility. Their expectations and desire for ease and convenience drive their choices. Digitally centric brands place an increased value on the holistic journey of consumers and seek to improve their lives. The Index gives us a closer understanding of behaviors and enables us to provide business leaders with a unique lens into consumers’ lives to help them understand and respond with data-driven insights.”
The research provides a clear, overarching trend in the last three to six months of a significant convergence of the online and offline worlds. Digital experiences have increased – online shopping, contactless payments, health and fitness – all enabled by consumer expectations and convenience, with social media as the invisible thread that connects us to a global community. It will be interesting to see the continuation of these behaviors, which will stay for the long-term i.e., contactless and mobile payments, and which will inevitably shift back to a degree of pre-COVID "normality."
Contactless payments and experiences are now a requirement
Social distancing measures are accelerating the call for more contactless interactions. The usage and preference for mobile or contactless payment continue to soar. Sixty-seven percent of participants have used contactless payment for purchases in a physical store, and 39% said that if available, they would use contactless to pay in-store almost every time. Forty-six percent of respondents have used tap-to-pay with a credit card over other methods. Sixty-one percent of participants selected a contactless interaction as one of their top three factors influencing their choice of grocery retailer. These findings suggest that the move away from cash is solidifying. Contactless technology will be expected and will continue to shape the future of travel and dining, providing safer ways for guests to interact, while further integrating digital tools into new experiences.
Shopping becomes personal and on-demand
Over the last three months, 97% of people have at least one category that they prefer to shop online. The most preferred category is apparel, shoes, or accessories (59%), followed by household supplies (52%) and electronics (49%).
Online grocery saw an increase in usage during the pandemic. Fifty-seven percent of respondents started using online grocers during COVID-19, 1 in 2 saying they will continue to use online grocery channels more in the future.
For discretionary items, such as apparel and home improvement/DIY supplies, sales/promotions and a willingness to try new things were the primary factors consumers tried new brands – mirroring hesitancies around discretionary spending and forays into new offline activities.
Health at home
When it comes to health, patients accept telehealth en mass; but gingerly and out of necessity rather than choice. Fifty-six percent of patients tried telehealth over the last 3-6 months, with 55% selecting it to reduce their risk of contracting Co-Vid. There are some topics new telehealth users are resistant to discuss, whereas experienced users are more likely to consider using telehealth for any kind of health question.