Australian consumers expect safety features to stay post COVID: Soti research

IoT solution provider, Soti has released a report revealing that 67 per cent of Australian consumers expect in-store safety features that emerged during COVID-19 to continue post pandemic.

Titled, From Bricks to Clicks: State of Mobility in Retail 2021 Report, the study saw 6000 participants complete online interviews between December 21, 2020 and January 5, 2021. The 6000 participants were divided into eight geographical markets with adults ranging from 18 to 65 years old.

Of the Australian participants, 62 per cent anticipated that payment methods created as part of COVID-19 safety requirements would continue to exist with in-store shopping.

A further 46 per cent believed that contactless payments would also become the “new normal” for in-store purchases.

“Previously, the integration of technology in retail has been focused on convenience and efficiency,” says Michael Dyson, Vice President of Sales for the Soti Asian Pacific Region.

“However, the impact of the pandemic has pushed retailers into deploying technology to improve safety standards in-store.”

The study also found that 37 per cent of consumers expected social distancing practices to continue post COVID-19 with 19 per cent anticipating face masks would remain.

A further 37 per cent believed protective screens at checkouts would remain in place and 22 per cent expected ID contract tracing in shopping spaces to continue.

“Consumers are now getting used to the changes that retailers have made to their in-store operations over the course of the pandemic, to the point where consumers expect them to stay well into the future,” says Michael.

The study also revealed a preference for COVID-safe practices with 21 per cent of Australian consumers stating they wanted features to continue such as sales associates allowing purchasing through mobile devices, over purchasing at a cash register.

“In fact, 44 per cent say that they believed the shopping and delivery features adopted during COVID-19 will remain a long-term feature of their shopping experiences,” says Michael.

“As we move into what is a more optimistic, but still unstable future for the retail sector, it has been encouraging to see both retailer and consumer optimism for this new era of retail.”

The full report can be downloaded here.

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