When Will Shopping Activity Resume?

Due to the pandemic, retailers are currently struggling with finances, logistics and maintaining relevance. With stay-at-home orders still in place indefinitely, many companies are wondering when they can get back to business as usual.

According to March 2020 data from Narvar and Forrester, 58% of US retailers believed shopping activity would return to normal in anywhere from three months to more than a year, while 40% said one to three months. Only 2% said they expected a bounce back in less than 30 days.

It's important to note that this is just one study. It's tough to speculate when shopping will be revived, as uncertainty over the reopening of brick-and-mortars will continue on a state-by-state basis. In the past week, retail stores in Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana and South Carolina reopened (with restrictions), but the majority of states are still waiting for shelter-in-place measures to be lifted, and that will take time.

Local businesses in particular have been feeling the effects of the pandemic. More than a third of local marketers said they were losing customers as a result of it, according to March 2020 data from BrightLocal. And many expected those impacts to continue as more consumers avoid shopping in physical stores.

But there may be a silver lining for retailers once quarantines end. Some 16.7% of US adults said they would shop more often at physical stores after the coronavirus pandemic is resolved, per March 31 data from Business Insider Intelligence.

Nearly two-thirds (62.5%) said they would shop at about the same frequency as they did before the pandemic. What that shopping will look like, however, may be different from pre-pandemic behaviors. Retailers will likely adopt certain safety and social-distancing measures as they continue to navigate this new normal.

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