COVID-19 has changed just about everything, especially the way we shop. While online shopping has become the go-to for durable goods for many people, buying groceries from the local market – either through in-store shopping or home delivery – remains the best option for most.
Even still, nearly 70% of Americans believe that the cathartic experience of walking the aisles at brick & mortar grocery stores may soon be coming to an end in the new climate of facemasks, social distancing and sanitizing everything.
What the numbers say
A recent study conducted for Progressive Grocer asked 2,000 Americans about their thoughts on the current state of grocery shopping. Of the respondents, 42% said they’re concerned about the cleanliness of products and overall store presentation. Another 28% confessed to battling anxiety as they prepare for grocery store trips.
Because of all that, people want to get in and get out as fast as possible to limit their exposure.
In fact, 39% of survey respondents claimed they do all they can to spend as little time as possible in-store. That’s proven in the amount of time shoppers are spending in stores in the post-COVID era: shoppers have reduced their time spent in a store by about 30%, going from an average of 32 minutes to 23 minutes during the pandemic.
The benefit of tidiness
With organized and front-faced shelves being key to an efficient – and faster – shopping experience, many grocers are adding pusher display systems to refrigerated cases, freezers and center store shelves. SimpliStock™ from Retail Space Solutions is a modular pusher system that can be configured by the grocer to work on any wire or metal shelf in the store.
“This pandemic has certainly changed the way people shop for groceries,” said Joe Crum, Retail Space Solutions Director of Marketing and eCommerce. “People don’t want to spend any more time in a store than they absolutely need to. If shelves are well-structured and simple to navigate then we can make people feel safer when they make a trip to the store.”
SimpliStock pusher systems create an environment that’s coordinated and accessible. Products are arranged neatly with the system’s side walls, and the pusher mechanism continually moves stock to the front of the shelf. The mechanism is strong enough to move larger frozen items but is also designed to be retracted with gentle pressure for easy restocking. With SimpliStock automatically handling shelf conditioning, shoppers can quickly find what they’re looking for and stockers can efficiently keep up with out-of-stocks.
The Progressive Grocer study found that slightly more than half of those people who relied on trips to their local grocery store are now turning to online ordering for either pickup or delivery. And while grocers are happy with the revenue stream, that new way of shopping is putting a strain on the staff filling the online orders.
“When pusher systems like SimpliStock are in place on the shelf, store employees can pick products faster and stockers can better keep up,” Crum said. “No more false out of stock and the headaches those cause, either.”
For more information about SimpliStock or other premium pusher display systems available from Retail Space Solutions, visit retailspacesolutions.com or call 800-279-5291.