REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. – As COVID-19 vaccines are distributed throughout the United States, hope has emerged for a possible return in the coming months to pre-pandemic behaviors. A new survey from Shopkick, however, suggests that it’s going to take longer for consumers to shift pandemic behaviors. 

With 44% of Americans not planning to receive the vaccine, consumers said they would hardly change their current shopping behaviors as a result. Nearly all consumers (96%) said they would continue to take personal safety precautions while shopping, while less than half (48%) of those who had already received the vaccine reported feeling more comfortable shopping in stores now.  

Shopkick surveyed more than 21,000 consumers between Jan. 20-24, 2021, to learn about current shopping behaviors and how the availability of a vaccine impacts those habits. Insights included: 

  • Many consumers do not plan to get the vaccine. While most consumers surveyed had either already received the vaccine (8%) or were planning to receive it (48%), 44% said they were not planning to get vaccinated. 
  • Millennials are the least confident in the vaccine. Millennials made up the largest segment of people not confident in the vaccine (35%) and not planning to get vaccinated (51%). Comparatively, America’s youngest and oldest consumers appeared the most confident in the vaccine, with 71% of Gen Zers and 75% of Boomers saying they felt some level of confidence.  
  • Vaccinations do not mean consumers will flood back indoors. Of those who had already received the vaccine, less than half (48%) reported feeling more comfortable shopping in-store and taking part in other indoor activities, while only 18% say they would do so more frequently now. Similarly, of those who planned to get the vaccine, only 15% say they would shop in-store or take part in indoor activities more frequently after receiving the vaccination. 
  • Personal health and safety habits are here to stay. Nearly all of those who had already been vaccinated or planned to be vaccinated say they would continue to take personal safety precautions while shopping in-store (96% and 97%, respectively). Precautions include wearing protective face coverings (93%), using disinfectants (87%), shopping at less busy times (66%), using debit or credit cards to avoid exchanging cash (66%), using self-checkout (58%), or wearing protective gloves (21%).  
  • Consumers expect health and safety to remain a priority for retailers. Even if the majority of Americans are vaccinated, 79% of consumers expect retailers to continue enforcing health and safety restrictions, such as requiring protective face coverings for shoppers and employees (89%), offering disinfectants for shoppers (86%), enforcing social distancing (80%), keeping plexiglass barriers at checkout (74%), and limiting the capacity of shoppers allowed inside (62%). According to 62% of respondents, enforcing these guidelines would influence where they choose to shop.  
  • More than half of consumers are shopping online for essential purchases. As consumers try out different options for picking up the essentials, 55% said they were now using online shopping to varying degrees, including sometimes (35%), often (11%), or very often (9%).