UK retailers lose profits when customers do not feel COVID-safe

NABMA has worked closely with Storecheckers over the last few years. They have shared for information their recent survey on businesses and COVID safety measures. 

“UK Businesses are struggling to meet customer expectations in relation to COVID safety measures, negatively impacting shopper loyalty and hitting profits. This is the key finding of a recent survey carried out by Storecheckers and other UK members of the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association (MSPA).

Storecheckers was a founder member of the MSPA Europe/Africa and is proud to have their Operations Director, Rena Shaw, as one of its Board members.

The survey reviewed shoppers’ experiences when visiting 3,200 UK locations across a range of sectors. The results assessed the presence of critical COVID safety standards, including sanitisation, signage, staff & customer social distancing and PPE and how this impacted respondents’ perception of safety and their likelihood to return to these businesses.

The findings show worrying gaps in compliance to government guidelines, with potential health risks and an adverse impact on consumer confidence and loyalty:

  • 3 out of 10 staff failed to adhere to social distancing guidelines, with supermarket staff least likely to be compliant.
  • Customers were also ignoring safety distancing measures in almost half the locations visited – again supermarkets were the biggest offenders.
  • Almost one in five locations failed to provide hand sanitiser and a similar number were not providing sufficient PPE for staff. The food & beverage sector was of particular concern, with a quarter of staff members not wearing PPE.

When all the safety protocols are in place, the customer ‘likely to return’ rate was 92%. However, when they are absent, this figure declines significantly to 57%, showing just how much shoppers value the presence of COVID safety measures.

Rena Shaw, Storecheckers’ Operations Director, commented: “Showing care and safety for your customers is the key to customer loyalty. These results show how exposed businesses are to the financial impact of not treating customer safety as their number one priority. Managers must continually ensure that their frontline team maintains focus on ensuring that all their shoppers feel safe and secure, so that they will return as loyal customers.” 

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