The vast major­ity of Amer­i­can con­sumers agree that their lives have been dis­rupted by the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

Along with mas­sive dis­rup­tion has been a cer­tain degree of anx­i­ety, con­cern and fear.

Vir­tu­ally all pub­lic busi­ness sec­tors have a expe­ri­enced some sort of change, dis­rup­tion or mod­i­fi­ca­tion to work­place pro­to­cols.

Restric­tions have been most evi­dent for “essen­tial ser­vice” providers like retail gro­cery stores. For any­one with respon­si­bil­ity for doing house­hold shop­ping, notice­able efforts to calm wor­ried shop­pers are evi­dent.

Retail gro­cers were quick to adopt: Shop­ping cart san­i­tiz­ing, 6’ rule of self-​distancing, rec­om­mended wear­ing of face masks and gloves, plex­i­glass bar­rier pro­tec­tion at check­out and restric­tions of num­ber of shop­pers by size of store.

Active in-​store food demon­stra­tions, self-​serve salad and soup bars and bulk food bins were at once ban­ished. Fur­ther adap­ta­tions have seen direc­tional aisles, spec­i­fied hours for vul­ner­a­ble shop­pers and floor stamps and mark­ers for COVID-​19 mes­sag­ing.

Obvi­ously, new rules at retail are some­what com­fort­ing to shop­pers. Most shop­pers grade the store and if they elect to shop there again by what they see as health safety mea­sures being fol­lowed. A sim­ple thing like ban­ning re-​useable bags took awhile to take hold.

Wait­ing in a line to shop, empty shelves and out-​of-​stocks and more lines at check out is extremely new for the Amer­i­can expe­ri­ence.

The sight of clerks hand spray­ing carts with san­i­tizer may be a phe­nom­e­non that sticks around.

Per­haps the most notable change, with poten­tially long-​lasting effects, has been con­sumers’ turn to online gro­cery shop­ping.

Steadily grow­ing the past few years, online shop­ping jumped sig­nif­i­cantly the past twelve weeks. Twenty per­cent of shop­pers say they have placed an online order for gro­ceries for the first time this past month.

Online shop­pers take advan­tage of a wide array of online deliv­ery options being offered. This includes home deliv­ery, at-​store pickup and stan­dard ship­ping.

How we shop and where we shop are evolv­ing accord­ing to COVID’s “new rules”. Who is doing the shop­ping is also influ­enced by how safe an indi­vid­ual feels at any given store.

Con­sumers need and want to feel nor­mal. Deci­sions we see now are dri­ven by health. As those risks are min­i­mized and more busi­nesses open, our focus will shift. Fears will move on to other things like finan­cial sta­bil­ity or food inse­cu­rity.

Retail­ers are adapt­ing to con­sumer needs. Sat­is­fac­tion cen­ters on health, well­ness and the over­all value proposition.
To read the full Mar­ket Report, includ­ing this week’s mar­ket update, see below or click here.