92% of Millennials "Extremely Likely" to Purchase Products After Seeing Out-of-Home Advertising

Survey reveals changes in out-of-home behavior and shopping trends at grocery stores and pharmacies during COVID-19.

Key Findings:

  • Retailer loyalty has strengthened among millennial and Gen Z in-store shoppers.

  • In-store shopping gets a revamp: consumers go quickly and with a plan.

  • Relevant and timely messaging remains key for consumers.

Almost a year after our mid-pandemic consumer survey, we conducted a follow up to understand how COVID-19 has impacted in-store shopping behaviors and the power of out-of-home (OOH) advertising. Both surveys highlight the importance of in-person shopping and reaching consumers with the correct messaging, but there are interesting differences which, we believe, illustrate the post-pandemic opportunity for brands and retailers to reach and resonate with consumers.  

To learn more about the shift in consumer behavior, dive into the results below.  

Retailer Loyalty Strengthened Among Millennial and Gen Z In-Store Shoppers

In-person shopping habits shifted during the pandemic and are now stronger than ever. Recent survey results showed that 95% of shoppers visit the grocery store or pharmacy at least once a week, which is up from 90% of shoppers in August 2020. Nearly one-third of respondents (32%) said they make more trips presently than they did at the height of the pandemic. While behavior shifted during the pandemic, these survey results demonstrate that many consumers still choose to visit their grocery or pharmacy retailer regularly.

In terms of retailer preference, 88% of shoppers say they usually visit the same store to replenish goods. This number is up 5% compared to our first survey during the height of the pandemic, with notable differences in behavior across age groups. When surveyed in August 2020, baby boomers were the demographic that was most likely to visit the same store at 86%. In this most recent survey, millennials emerged as the group that was most likely to visit the same store was at 90%.

Consumers are also more aware of OOH advertising: 73% of consumers reported noticing OOH advertising during their shopping trips and 43% of consumers stated that they noticed OOH advertising more than they did at the height of the pandemic. Next to outdoor billboards, in-store OOH advertising at grocery, pharmacy and convenience stores were cited by 55% of respondents as being the most memorable.

With many people shopping in-store and critical age groups showing loyalty to specific stores, the opportunity is prime for retailers to build relationships with their shoppers—OOH advertising is a great way to do that.

In-Store Shopping Gets a Revamp: Consumers Go Quickly and with a Plan

It’s not just the frequency of shopping trips that has changed, the way consumers shop during the pandemic has changed in terms of duration. As an example, 53% of shoppers said the way they shop has changed throughout the pandemic and 43% stated that they now shop more quickly. In order to accomplish faster shopping trips, more consumers are planning ahead—with 91% of shoppers responding that they go to the store with a specific plan in mind.

But even for the most avid planners, there is plenty of potential for advertisers to influence purchasing choices. In fact, today’s consumers say they are more likely to purchase products after seeing them in OOH advertisements. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers (61%) indicate likelihood to purchase a product after seeing it in an OOH advertisement.

Among the groups most highly influenced by this type of advertisement, 92% of millennials and 77% of Gen Z respondents said they were extremely likely to purchase a product after seeing an OOH ad for it. OOH creates a strong opportunity for advertisers to capture attention in moments of high intent and drive consumers to purchase. Targeted offers and promotions also create a strong opportunity for brands to connect with shoppers before they enter the store with their set plan to purchase.

Relevant and Timely Messaging Remains Key for Consumers

Reaching consumers with impactful and relevant messaging is also critical. Overall, 80% of consumers think brand messaging is important—particularly in consideration of the realities of COVID-19 within the consumer’s community. Compared to August 2020, this was a 17% increase in consumers who believe that messaging is important.

With 43% of consumers reporting that they recognize OOH advertising more than they did at the height of the pandemic and 41% noticing it equally as often, it’s critical that brands get the message right. This is advantageous for digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising in particular, as digital advertising has the speed and agility to update relevant messaging in real time. If brands are successful in creating relevant messaging, they’ll likely experience positive reception from consumers.

New Consumer Expectations and How to Meet Them

While much shifted during the pandemic, some key facts remain true: in-store shopping is a staple but consumers are approaching it differently, demographic changes are underway and messaging is key. With this knowledge, advertisers and retailers can reach their consumers using OOH advertising to create impactful campaigns that lead to sales. With Quotient’s DOOH solutions, advertisers can activate campaigns quickly and reach shoppers when it matters most.

Get in touch with our team at [email protected] to learn how Quotient can structure your campaigns around the latest consumer trends.

Methodology: Quotient conducted two surveys of over 1,000 respondents across various age groups in the United States via Pollfish in June 2021 and Survey Monkey in August 2020 to assess changing consumer shopping behavior during the pandemic.