When it comes to consumer sentiment, the most important factor in reopening the economy is making sure consumers feel safe when visiting a business, according to a recent study by Market Force Information. In addition to executing excellence in the overall customer experience, the research finds, how the brand directs shoppers into the store, supports an organized in store experience, and executes cleaning standards will make the difference in a satisfied customer who is likely to recommend one business over another.
Local businesses getting it right
Consumer sentiment is high for local and independently run business, as they receive credit and praise for implementing noticeable safety measures. Results show that 41% of local businesses received a five out of five top box rating with how well they have adjusted to keep customers safe, versus 31% when compared to national chains. This presents an opportunity for big brands to excel, says Phil Doriot, Market Forces’s VP of analytics and insights:
“The opportunity for national chains is to commutate the local aspect of the business using store management to create a sense of community and promoting safety procedures,” says Doriot.
Family meal deals an opportunity for QSR
Taking the current pulse of the restaurant industry, survey results demonstrate that 30% of dinners who chose to eat at a new Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) did so only because their first choice was not open yet. As more families are preparing food and dining at home, availability, scalability, and greater satisfaction with family meals deals will represent an opportunity for QSRs and casual dining restaurants to up their game. Contrary to how diners selected a restaurant before the Coronavirus pandemic, they are now seeking out locations with less traffic and contactless food service.
After the pandemic ends, visits to QSR restaurants are expected to decrease 17%, with annual visits dropping from 76 visits pre-pandemic, to 49 visits during the pandemic, and 63 probable visits post-pandemic. To make the most of declined visits, the report results demonstrated the following customer success drivers: convenient restaurant location, perceived value for the dollar, and availability of contactless food pick up.
To drive grocery visits, minimize crowding
Visits to grocery brands are expected to decrease 22% after the pandemic with annual visits dropping from 85 visits pre-pandemic, to 60 visits during the pandemic, and 65 probable visits post-pandemic. Although trip frequency is down, the good news is basket size is up. To make the most of declined in store visits; the report results demonstrated the following consumer success drivers: having popular items in stock, no crowding in aisles and check outlines, and the obvious perception that employees are following cleanliness standards.
Stay-at-home sentiment losing traction
The time to begin implementing changes is now, as a growing number of consumers are ready to resume in-store shopping, according to the study: from April to May, the amount of consumers that believe sheltering in place should continue dropped 12%. This change was measured over a one-month period, declining from 80% in April to 68% in May.