Life After COVID-19: How Will We Ever Go Shopping Again?
After months of sheltering-in-place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, each state is gradually easing restrictions. Many aspects of life are returning to normal, and shopping is no exception. At this point, the big question is how will we ever go shopping again after COVID-19?
As the pandemic goes on, retailers need to adapt and innovate quickly to meet the latest needs of shoppers. More people are seeking shopping experiences that are convenient, fast and — above all — safe. As a result, companies are implementing new rules such as touchless shopping, booking appointments to access stores and higher standards for online shopping. Let’s take a look at the demands and safety protocols that we can expect to be the new normal.
What Did We Do Before?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, shopping was a lot more carefree and personal. Consumers didn’t give it a second thought before entering a store to walk around and browse and touch merchandise. Before buying products, people took their time looking at and inspecting each item. Shoppers also didn’t hesitate to use shopping carts and baskets.
Why Doesn’t This Work Anymore?
Consumers have a habit of touching and picking up products while shopping in stores, but experts recommend limiting this practice. Surfaces in public spaces, especially shopping carts and cash register keypads, can potentially increase the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting these objects before each use. The virus can also live on several types of surfaces for different periods. For instance, studies have found that the virus can survive up to 30 minutes on paper, two days on glass and four days on plastic and stainless steel.
How Can We Replace This Method?
Constant sanitation, face masks, temperature checks, glass barriers at registers and social distancing are standard rules at grocery stores and shopping centers now. However, stores plan to keep business moving and customers coming in by going beyond these measures to keep them safe.