Consumers Overwhelmingly Like Curbside Pickup, And More From A New COVID-19 Survey

Consumers like roadside pickup and plan to continue using it even after the shutdown orders are canceled. (Photo … [+] by: Ruth Hytry Sinclair / Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

For many consumers, COVID-19 ushered in an entirely new dining and retail environment.

Sure, running was the norm in all restaurants except fine dining, and delivery services were already picking up speed.

However, features such as roadside collection and contactless delivery have become standard features over the past three months.

It turns out that customers like them.

Medallia Zingle, a technology company specializing in SMS platforms, asked 1,092 consumers on May 21 about their reactions to the new methods of restaurant business.

The poll released on Thursday was weighted by age, region, and gender to reflect the U.S. population.

Medallia Zingle’s survey, COVID-19 and the Future of Commerce, found that 87 percent would like restaurants and other brands to continue offering roadside pickups and other processes that limit the need for in-person visits.

Another 79 percent said they seek information about corporate health and safety practices before deciding whether to do business with them.

Almost as many respondents, 77 percent, said they will consider the need for face-to-face contact when deciding whether or not to visit a company.

“While some of these new models were designed as temporary solutions, the evidence suggests that the effects of COVID-19 on consumers will last longer,” the survey concluded.

Forty-five percent of respondents said they would be more likely to visit a location if they proactively submit their health and safety logs, while another 39 percent said it was something important.

And in the run up to the store owners, 45 percent of consumers said their roadside pickup experience was a bit rocky or that they received poor service. About 55 percent said it went smoothly.

I’ve written a lot about the new world restaurant owners are facing, most recently about the importance servers play in restoring customer relationships.

The Medallia Zingle poll had some other interesting results.

  1. More than half – 54 percent – said they had changed their shopping habits since the shutdown orders came into force. They limited their personal visits to stores and used delivery or roadside pickup.
  2. A quarter of respondents said they rely solely on delivery and roadside pick-up unless they were not available or in an emergency. Twenty-one percent said they hadn’t made any changes.
  3. The survey found that 36 percent of Generation Z respondents were most likely to choose roadside pickup or delivery, compared with 31 percent of millennials.

Meanwhile, the survey found that some of the new practices are likely to become habits.

When asked if they would continue to minimally visit companies even if things opened up, 45 percent said they would and 38 said they would do it “a lot”. Sixteen percent said they would not limit their visits.

Interestingly, before COVID-19, around 78 percent of respondents said they had visited a company at least three times a week. That has dropped to just 34 percent.

Before shutting down, only 22 percent of respondents said they were in two locations or fewer a week. Since then, that number has risen to 66 percent.

Consumers also send out a warning that they expect their concerns to be resolved quickly.

The survey asked how quickly they would like a response when they raise questions and concerns about a health and safety issue in a shop or restaurant. Almost half – 45 percent – said they would get a response within 24 hours.

Many want the information even faster. 26 percent expect an answer within 30 minutes, 12 percent within five minutes and 17 percent immediately.

It is clear that consumers will demand if and when to return to restaurants and shops and that owners will have to meet their requirements in order to keep their business going.

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