Consumers Prefer Shopping Online, Even as Stores Reopen

Tracey Meyers

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A predilection toward shopping for apparel online is still a thing, according to Coresight Research — and the proof is in the data gathered for its latest weekly U.S. consumer survey.

In spite of excitement surrounding the reopening of brick-and-mortar stores after temporary closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, online apparel shopping has “maintained its appeal,” according to Coresight Research. “We are yet to see a downward trend in online apparel shopping,” the firm said.

Its data shows that the proportion of respondents buying more apparel online jumped in the first half of May and remained steady for the ensuing weeks — all before increasing again this week to more than one-quarter of all respondents, which represents a roughly 10-percentage-point increase from May 6, according to the report.

“We also asked about consumers’ activities over the past two weeks and their expectations for the next two weeks: Making online purchases of apparel topped the list of recent activities, with a little over one-third of all respondents reporting that they had bought clothing or footwear online in the past two weeks. In addition, expectations to buy apparel online in the next two weeks were consistent with last week’s findings,” authors of the report said.

The survey also found that eight in 10 consumers are avoiding public places, with more than 81 percent of respondents reporting they are avoiding some type of public place, according to the data.

As far as the “most avoided” places, 59 percent said shopping centers and malls, with more than half of respondents stating they are also avoiding food-service outlets and sports centers.

Six in 10 respondents said they expect to retain changed behaviors from the crisis period, which, for the first time since early April, fell below 60 percent, with 58 percent expecting to do so over the long term, authors of the report said.

The proportion of respondents expecting to wear gloves/masks leveled off following an upward trend, with half of the respondents reporting this week that they expect to do so in the long term. In addition, we saw the proportion of respondents expecting to use contactless payment options decline this week following an upward trend from June 3.”

There were also slight decreases in expectations to shop less overall, the report said, with 18 percent of respondents stating they expecting to generally shop less — versus 21 percent just last week.

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