These figures are the clearest indication yet that COVID-19 is something that we will all have to live with for another several months at the very least. And understandably, a large portion of the population still has serious health and safety concerns about patronizing brick-and-mortar businesses in this environment.
Here’s a point to drive home the graveness of the prevailing sentiment among consumers: when states began reopening after the initial lockdowns earlier this year—and virtually every state was back open by the first week in June—we did not observe an immediate return to normal levels of in-store foot traffic. In fact, on a national level, we only saw foot traffic climb to just under 50% of normal, a mark it has not crossed since.
With consumers so clearly on edge, it is imperative that merchants lean in to enhanced safety and sanitation measures—practices like limiting store capacity to encourage social distancing, frequently disinfecting pens and surfaces, and implementing mask mandates. After all, the more businesses that adopt these changes, the more consumers will come to expect them and begin identifying these measures as standards.
A very important (yet often overlooked) callout involves contactless solutions, which have become quite popular this year. According to one study, 53% of consumers have used a mobile contactless payment option for the first time since the pandemic began, and an astounding 85% of consumers say that it is important that a retailer offer the choice for contactless payment.
There’s also evidence showing that stores which haven’t implemented some sort of contactless payment solution are at a competitive disadvantage. The same study cited above indicated that 28% of shoppers will actively avoid a retailer that doesn’t offer a contactless payment option and instead choose one that does.
We at Zenreach have seen similar data with regard to another contactless solution: menus. Our contactless menu capabilities rolled out several weeks ago, and since then, we have observed that those merchants which have deployed contactless menus are seeing consumers sign up at twice(!) the rate of those merchants who do not have contactless menus. This is just another strong indication of consumers’ desire for contactless solutions.
So the question is: Do you want to be at an advantage or a disadvantage?