New research has revealed that 67 per cent of Australian consumers expect that in-store safety measures will remain after the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us.

The study, From Bricks to Clicks: State of Mobility in Retail 2021 Report, by mobile and IoT management solutions provider, SOTI, made several discoveries regarding new COVID safety protocols.

When it comes to in-store payments, 62 per cent of Australian consumers anticipate that new features introduced as part of COVID-19 protocols will continue to exist. Additionally, more than 46 per cent say contactless payment will become the new normal for all future purchases.

Michael Dyson, VP of Sales, SOTI, says that the integration of technology in retail has shifted from being about convenience and efficiency to now being about improving safety standards in-store.

“As the recovery of brick-and-mortar retail continues to accelerate in Australia, our research has uncovered consumers’ foresight into what pandemic-induced shopping features they expect to remain the norm.”

Report findings

Even after the pandemic and vaccine rollout, Australian consumers believe the future of in-store shopping will remain in-line with COVID-19 regulations. It found social distancing (37 per cent), face masks (19 per cent), protection screens at checkouts (37 per cent) and ID contact tracing (22 per cent) expected to linger in the shopping space for quite some time.

Likewise, 21 per cent of consumers said they would in fact prefer some features to stay in place, such as sales associates allowing them to use their mobile devices to purchase items on the shop floor.

“Consumers are now getting used to the changes that retailers have made to their in-store operations over the course of the pandemic, to the point where consumers expect them to stay well into the future.

“In fact, 44 per cent said that they believed the shopping and delivery features adopted during COVID-19 will remain a long-term feature of their shopping experiences. As we move into what is a more optimistic, but still unstable future for the retail sector, it has been encouraging to see both retailer and consumer optimism for this new era of retail.”

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