Digital channels permeate post-COVID life

In our efforts to get back to our daily routine before the lockdown, there is a significant increase in the adoption of various technologies into our everyday lives.

There’s no denying that digital has been filling the social distancing gap and social media stands out as the dominant source of influence over our free time. Publicis Sapient conducted a survey on 3,000 people in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Singapore. The research, the Digital Life Index, reveals that digital channels inspire new action and bringing people together for shared experiences at the height of lockdown.

Payments have become a health concern as contactless payment methods became a top priority for customers, dictating where they shop and spend as well as shining a spotlight on tap-to-pay credit cards. Moreover, online shoppers may have increased in number, with 71% stating they have purchased online more than usual, but amid economic uncertainty, buying priorities have changed and brand loyalty has taken on a new meaning.

Contactless payments and experiences are now a requirement

Social distancing measures are accelerating the call for more contactless interactions. The usage and preference for mobile or contactless payment continue to soar. 67% of participants have used contactless payment for purchases in a physical store, and 39% said that if available, they would use contactless to pay in-store almost every time. 46% of respondents have used tap-to-pay with a credit card over other methods. 61% of participants selected a contactless interaction as one of their top three factors influencing their choice of grocery retailer.

These findings suggest that the move away from cash is solidifying. Contactless technology will be expected and will continue to shape the future of travel and dining, providing safer ways for guests to interact, while further integrating digital tools into new experiences.

Shopping becomes personal and on-demand

Over the last three months, 97% of people have at least one category that they prefer to shop online. The most preferred category is apparel, shoes, or accessories (59%), followed by household supplies (52%) and electronics (49%).

Online grocery saw an increase in usage during the pandemic. 57% of respondents started using online grocers during COVID-19, 1 in 2 saying they will continue to use online grocery channels more in the future.

For discretionary items, such as apparel and home improvement/DIY supplies, sales/promotions and a willingness to try new things were the primary factors consumers tried new brands – mirroring hesitancies around discretionary spending and forays into new offline activities.

Health at home

When it comes to health, patients accept telehealth en mass; but gingerly and out of necessity rather than choice. 56% of patients tried telehealth over the last 3-6 months, with 55% selecting it to reduce their risk of contracting Co-Vid. There are some topics new telehealth users are resistant to discuss, whereas experienced users are more likely to consider using telehealth for any kind of health question.

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