Nervousness, stress the top emotions felt by in-store shoppers

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LOS ANGELES — The latest survey from Kelton Global reveals that, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Americans report feeling nervousness and stress more than any other emotions while shopping.

According to the firm’s findings, this anxiety stems from a few key factors, including concerns about being in close proximity with strangers, navigating new requirements and procedures, and the potential for conflicts among already-tense shoppers.

“Before COVID-19, shoppers experienced a rich tapestry of trip types and emotions,” said Kelton partner Amy Rogoff Dunn. “Now, all of these occasions and emotions have coalesced into one type of shopping — a kind of anxiety-filled mission. People are going as infrequently as possible.”

The data also show the various precautions shoppers take to protect themselves:

  • 81% of in-store shoppers report searching for additional information to assess whether it’s safe to visit a store
  • 64% try to touch as few items as possible when shopping
  • 59% prefer self-service over employee interaction

Perhaps because of the anxiety they feel themselves, shoppers value the essential contributions of store employees more than ever before, with 7 in 10 saying they’ve been feeling more appreciation since the start of the outbreak.

“Collectively, our data suggest some key takeaways for retail brands trying to find the way forward right now,” said Martin Eichholz, Kelton’s Chief Insights Officer. “Reassure people that it’s not all on them individually to navigate this new world. Ease tension over the unpredictability of other shoppers. Demonstrate that you care, and that you’re putting people ahead of profits.”

To download the full report, visit:

Kelton launched the first wave of its COVID-19 tracking survey in mid-March, as the outbreak began to escalate across the country.

For this most recent wave of the study, Kelton conducted in-depth interviews with US shoppers spanning demographic from June 3-5, and a 20-minute online survey with 2,054 American adults (age 18+), from June 5-8.



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