Five Stats Proving In-Store Retail is Here to Stay

by | Feb 25, 2022


COVID-19 and the resilience of retail

Since the pandemic began two years ago, in-store retail has had its struggles, but ultimately has proven resilient in the face of dire circumstances and shown the business world that it is here to stay. The recent supply chain crisis cemented this notion, with retail becoming fully omnichannel. 

“2021 was the year that grocery retail became truly omnichannel. Retailers who delivered on their customers’ evolving needs in-store and online performed best,” said Grant Steadman, president of North America for Dunnhumby, in a recent article from Progressive Grocer.

We thought we’d share some findings from several surveys we’ve conducted recently that help to reinforce this sentiment. Here are five statistics surrounding customer sentiment we found that point towards the continued success of in-person shopping for grocery stores. 

1) In June 2021, when asked if they’d ordered groceries online in the past six months, a slight majority of shoppers (56%) said ‘no.’

There have been waves to the pandemic case count since it began, and based on our survey, June was a time this past year when most people felt safe enough physically going to their local grocery store on their own. Similarly, with cases now decreasing after a surge earlier this winter, it seems likely that people will again resort back to doing a great deal of their grocery shopping at the grocery store. From the same survey, we found that:

2) 60% of shoppers say they will return to their regular shopping habits when the COVID-19 Pandemic comes to an end.

After two years now, people are beyond eager for a return to normalcy, with many even foregoing safety precautions to obtain this sense of normalcy. Such a willingness to get back out there reaches the grocery space as well, with the vast majority of people wanting to return to the way they previously shopped, and view the products they’re purchasing in-person.

3) 67% of shoppers do their grocery shopping in-store at supermarkets.

From our survey, a stark contrast can immediately be seen between the 67% that primarily shopped in grocery stores as of 2021 compared to the mere 8% that shopped online. “Digital’s share of total grocery sales more than doubled during the pandemic, from 5% to 10% of sales, yet half of the U.S. grocery shopping population doesn’t buy online and has no plans to,” states the Progressive Grocer article mentioned above.

4) COVID-19 was not the leading factor in deterring customers from shopping in person this past Black Friday.

This past Black Friday, we conducted a survey about COVID-related shopping habits. While 19% cited COVID-19 as the reasoning behind their opting out, 28% of respondents said crowds were the main deciding factor. A common deterrent like crowds (which prevents most people capable of rational thought from shopping on Black Friday) outweighs COVID concerns, echoing the trends we’re seeing in grocery stores.

5) In an early 2021 Premise survey, 48% of respondents said that the reason they haven’t bought alcohol online over the past year is that they prefer to shop for it in person.

In a Premise survey in April 2021, we found that when it comes to the reasoning behind why shoppers hadn’t purchased alcohol online over the last year, the overwhelming response was that shoppers prefer to shop for their alcohol in person. While they had the option to select specific reasoning as to why, the choice appears to be purely out of preference for most of these shoppers.

We plan to continue to share our findings on different trends like this one as we navigate our way through 2022. Keep an eye out!
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