American consumers want more ways to buy and pay in the future

Ipsos finds unprecedented disruption raised shoppers’ expectations for retail

The author(s)

  • Matt Carmichael Vice President, Editorial Strategy, North America
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs
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New York, March 15, 2021 – American consumers are unlikely to return to their old ways of buying things even as they gain confidence in the recovery from the pandemic. The massive disruption of 2020 has perhaps forever changed the ways people buy and pay, according to the latest issue of Ipsos’ What the Future magazine.

Looking ahead, Ipsos data shows that while people miss in-person shopping, they prefer to shop both in-store and online equally. Shoppers plan to continue conveniences like “buy online, pick up in-store” and “buy now, pay later.” They also want retailers and brands to make shopping seamless and easier to use across channels. That means better experiences in the physical, online and virtual shopping spaces. Consumers will continue to support brands that take a stand on issues from climate to gender to race.

In this issue of What the Future, Ipsos asks leading retail and brand thinkers four major questions:

  • Steve Miller, senior vice president of strategy and analytics at DICK’S Sporting Goods — Will a seamless shopping experience everywhere help people buy more?
  • Lisa Ellis, partner and senior equity analyst at MoffettNathanson — How will new ways to pay change how we shop?
  • Cathy Hackl, tech futurist and CEO of the Futures Intelligence Group — Will the metaverse make shopping better?
  • Afdhel Aziz, author and consultant — What purpose do brands serve?

The issue also features Ipsos researchers’ guidance on how to answer these questions for consumers, society and brands. The full issue is here. Below are research highlights followed by a topline of the survey results:

  • 38% of adults prefer to shop both in-store and online equally, if given the choice and there’s zero risk for COVID-19, while 39% prefer in-store and 22% prefer online. For younger adults ages 18-34, the ratio changes as 41% prefer to shop both in-store and online equally, while 31% prefer in-store and 26% prefer online.
  • 55% of people expect to shop online more than last year, including 66% of people ages 18-34, while 16% of people expect to shop online less than last year, including 14% of those ages 18-34.
  • 96% of shoppers say the ease of the website shopping experience factors into where they shop.
  • 69% of shoppers plan to maintain or increase their use of “buy online, pick up in-store” and curbside pick-up orders after the pandemic.
  • 62% of shoppers ages 18-34 say they would likely use “buy now, pay later” financing if they had access to it.
  • 60% of people would use an app to test furniture, household goods or home improvement items. Black and Hispanic adults overrepresent those who would use an app this way at 71% each.
  • 62% of Americans support brands they feel do more good than harm to society.

Below are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 5-8, 2021. For this survey, a sample of 1,115 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points for all respondents.

For full results, please refer to the following annotated questionnaire here.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 5-8, 2021. For this survey, a sample of 1,115 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2018 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,115, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-4.8 percentage points).

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Matt Carmichael
Editor, What the Future and Vice President, Editorial Strategy
Ipsos North America
+1 312 218 7922 
matt.carmichael@ipsos.com

Mallory Newall
Director, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2014
mallory.newall@ipsos.com

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP www.ipsos.com

The author(s)

  • Matt Carmichael Vice President, Editorial Strategy, North America
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs

Consumer & Shopper