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ICSC Connect Virtual Series: Which safety measures shoppers value most

May 21, 2020

As consumers return to reopened stores and shopping centers, they expect measures that give them control over their personal safety, experts said on the ICSC Connect Virtual Series episode Consumers Adapting to the Next Normal.

According to David Albert, managing director of consumer research firm Engine Insights’ business advisory team, 60 percent of U.S. adults are wearing masks regularly. In the Northeast, that’s closer to 70 percent. “Masks are going to be an important indicator of safety to consumers as we transition out of the stay-at-home orders,” he said. Face masks are the most effective way to make shoppers feel safe, said Emily Albright Miller, vice president of strategy at brand consulting firm Big Red Rooster. 

What safety measures to spend on for consumer peace of mind

One thousand U.S. consumers ranked these 14 measures that retailers are taking during COVID-19, assigning a 1 to the measure that made them feel safest and a 14 to the measure that did the least to make them feel safe. Big Red Rooster then added up how many consumers ranked each among his or her top three. Face masks was among the most consumers’ top three. Automation/robots made it to the fewest consumers’ top three.

  1. Face masks
  2. Drive-thru/curbside pickup option
  3. Readily available sanitation products
  4. Social distancing mandates
  5. Contactless payment
  6. Limit on number of people
  7. Special hours for at-risk shoppers
  8. Temperature checks/scanning
  9. Plastic/Plexiglass barriers
  10. UV sanitizing light
  11. Pickup/return lockers
  12. Appointment-based shopping
  13. One-way aisles
  14. Automation/robots

“This ranking can help you prioritize where to spend your money first to have the biggest impact on that consumer psyche and that comfort level of returning to your shopping environment,” Miller said.

The full ICSC Connect Virtual Series episode is available here (Chrome works best).

Click to read about and listen to other recent Virtual Series episodes from ICSC

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Kimco’s Conor Flynn talks reopening timelines

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Passionate consultants can make niche knowledge profitable

Full ICSC Connect Virtual Series library

By Brannon Boswell

Executive Editor, Commerce + Communities Today

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