As reported last month, Skyfii have partnered with Brickfields Consulting to uncover key impacts of COVID-19 on shopping behaviours through a first-of-its-kind Nationwide Survey on retail property shopper confidence – the COVID-19 Business Impact Tracker (C-BIT). As the situation is evolving on a daily basis, monthly updates of the research will be released to understand the latest perceptions and track the recovery. The research aims to help the retail property sector understand how the actions they take now and in the future can impact customer loyalty and brand sentiment in the medium to long term.
According to the yet to be released COVID-19 Business Impact Tracker for May, here are the Top 10 insights for Shopping Centres road to recovery:
- There are reductions in all four measures tracking the negative impact of COVID-19, including; ‘changed how I visit’ (reduced by 4%), ‘less likely to visit shopping centres’ (7%), ‘amount of time spent at shopping centres’ (3%), and ‘amount of money spent at shopping centres’ (2%).
- The perceived risk of passing on COVID-19 to others has reduced between April and May, down by 6%.
- The detraction of visiting shopping centres due to crowds reduced by 7% between April and May, while lack of available stock has also reduced as a concern (8%).
- Those who nominate COVID-19 as having made a ‘significant impact on their shopping centre behaviours’, has been more than halved, from 27% in April to 13% in May.
- Customers are increasing willing to visit more retailers within a shopping centre, with visiting ‘all’ and ‘most’ retailers up by 2%. While those planning on ‘not visiting the centre at all’ has reduced by more than half (13% in April to 6% in May)
- More customers would like more of the shopping centre open, with the proportion of shoppers wanting all retailers open (with precautionary measures) jumping from 32% to 47% in one month.
- Across all ten retail categories tested, customers were more likely in May to nominate that their behaviour has ‘continued as usual’ or has experienced only ‘minor changes’. Most notable, supermarkets are up 11% in customers ‘continuing as usual’ to 35% of the market.
- All six COVID-19 retail behaviours are diminishing, with ‘buying more online’, ‘more from local retailers’, ‘more take-away food’, ‘more of certain products’ and ‘less in-store purchases’ all shifting by between 1-3% back to the pre-COVID retail benchmark.
- While the estimated duration before a return to normal has reduced slightly to just over 3 months, there has been a shift in the number of customers who believe the impact of COVID-19 will last beyond 12 months (3% in April, but 7% in May).
- There is a growing sense of dissatisfaction from customers about how well shopping centres are responding to COVID-19. In April only 6% were dissatisfied by the actions, and 8% by the communication of shopping centres. By May, that number had more than doubled for both the action (16% dissatisfied) and communication (19%).
The results of the survey will be published online and are free to download. The full report for May will be released on brickfields.com from midday May 8.