This was confirmed by the data on visitor flows recorded in the first 3 weeks of reopening on holidays and pre-holidays.+ 23.8% compared to the same period of 2020 (Source CNCC).
The increase in online commerce, which in 2020 reached a penetration of the total equal to 8%, does not particularly threaten the survival of physical commerce, on the contrary: in the future of commerce, the physical experience will continue to prevail, reinforced by the "digital one ".
This is a summary of what emerges from a survey by Cushman & Wakefield Italy which monitored the consumer experience in the first months of 2021, in 32 shopping centres throughout the country, across a total of 1 million sq m of GLA and approximately 2,600 stores.
Regarding purchases in the future, more than 50% of the customers surveyed expressed a greater preference to making them in the store.
59% of the sample stated that with the return to normalcy they will continue to shop in stores.
In particular, 38.5% of respondents will make more purchases in physical stores and 20.5% will make them exclusively in the store compared to 13.2% who will only make them online.
"The response of nearly 13,000 people interviewed for this survey - says Lamberto Agostini, head of the Project Development Services and Asset Services for Cushman & Wakefield in Italy - bodes well for the second half of the year, where we expect a rebound in consumption in shopping centres, driven by the desire to return to frequent physical places of reference, another favourable factor is the high level of savings accumulated in the months of restrictions ".
The physical channel will continue to be fundamental - concludes Lamberto - even in the post-pandemic era.
Customers continue to show trust in shopping centres. They appreciated the investments made in security and in which we will continue to prioritise.
However, now we have to get people to meet again and for this we have to create new, safe, welcoming and “connected” spaces that are a new destination for a “new” consumer.
If after the first lockdown the attention of customers was mainly focused on security issues, now there is a greater desire to go shopping in malls.
In fact, about 40% of the interviewees said COVID-19 did not change their purchasing habits, while another 40% did not substitute the purchases not made over the usual shopping weekend: there are those who preferred not to spend (21.2 %) and those who have decreased the frequency of visits in not being able to use the weekends (19.8%).
Only 5% of respondents said they had replaced the shopping centre with neighbourhood shops while 14% said they had made up for the loss with online purchases.