How COVID Has Changed the Way Americans Shop

Some habits picked up during the long lockdown are likely to continue, experts say. Online shopping.  greater use of shopping apps, mobile checkout, in-store pickups, virtual fittings, and telehealth are among the changes that are here to stay.

During the more than year-long lockdown, most people got used to ordering nearly everything online, having it delivered, or picking it up at the store. Those habits are likely to continue. Millennials more than other generations are more likely to have things shipped to their homes. If they need something right away, they’ll use stores with curbside delivery.

As the nation deals with resuming life amid continuing apprehension about the Delta Variant, it’s baby boomers—not teenagers—who want to hang out at the mall. They are the most cautious about doing so because they’re still very concerned about COVID. Shopping in person is now viewed as a “sensory” experience.

“We’re seeing that consumers of all age groups saying that the shopping behaviors that changed during the pandemic are now habits they’re going to continue,” says Katherine Cullen, the National Retail Federation’s senior director of industry and consumer insights.

In-Store Pickups

To help retailers address the challenge of balancing inventory , retailers are increasingly turning to automated technology solutions. Buying online and picking up in the store, also known as BOPIS, has become widely become commonplace during the lockdown. It’s expected to continue but with a twist. Instead of offering pickup curbside, more stores are moving pickup inside the store, so consumers have a chance to look around and possibly buy something else. A recent survey by ChaseDesign found Walmart, Target, and Kroger providing the best pickup service or experience.

Mobile check-out became commonplace. Installing new systems used to take several years of planning have been implemented in a matter of weeks. Mobile Checkout

The use of technology to shop became much more widespread during the lockdown, both at home and in stores.

Mobile checkout not only enables social distancing but speeds up the shopping process. Consumers can use their smartphones to scan items and pay for them with a credit or debit card, making shopping faster and with minimized contact with store employees.

For example, people can buy products directly from photos and videos on Instagram In a survey commissioned by Facebook, Inc., 81% of respondents said Instagram helps them research products and services.

Amazon’s SES services include grocery shopping from Whole Foods, parcel delivery (Amazon Logistics), web services (AWS runs the CIA’s servers), and dozens of more services.

You can make your own Indoor Map app to make navigating a shopping mall or an airport easier.

COVID-19 changed the way many Americans shop; buy things easily with apps and through websites. To compete in this environment, stores and shopping centers need to offer experiences that make shopping pleasant and stimulating.

More frequent and severe floods spurred by climate change are poised to wreak major damage to commercial real estate in the U.S. over the next 30 years, causing significant economic harm, a new study has found.

Commercial properties are at an especially vulnerable point in our economic ecosystem, as damage and closures to these properties have significant direct and indirect impacts on local and regional economies.

What’s the damage? Damage to businesses, stores, and apartments could increase 25 percent between 2022 and 2052, hitting nearly $17 billion per year within three decades, according to a joint study by commercial engineering firm Arup and the nonprofit First Street Foundation.

But that’s just a small part of the total cost: Far larger than the direct damage is the spillover impact as stores close, offices furlough workers, and families — who may themselves be working from home — are forced to relocate. These financial impacts are estimated to rise to $63 billion by 2052, a nearly 30-percent increase, as the number of lost business days rises from 3.1 million per year to 4 million.

Let’s put those numbers in context: These rises come on top of an already heightened flood risk. Next year, about 730,000 retail, office, and apartment or condo buildings will confront risks of flooding in the continental U.S., according to the report . That is expected to result in $13.5 billion in direct damages and about $50 billion in additional damage, the report found.

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