One in five Americans believe COVID-19 passports should be mandatory in stores

Imogen Wethered
by Imogen Wethered

Findings from a survey of 2,022 consumers throughout the USA by retail software provider, Qudini, have revealed that one in five (19%) consumers believe COVID-19 passports should be made mandatory in essential and non-essential retail stores and banks.

The survey, which took place on the week of May 11, 2021, asked consumers how the mass vaccination rollout matched with declining COVID-19 cases will impact their shopping behaviors. 

Read the Consumer Behaviors During and After the Pandemic report

Almost a third (30%) of consumers said the mass vaccination program will drive them to visit stores more than they have throughout the pandemic, while 31% felt it would have no impact on their behaviors and a quarter (24%) said they will feel happier visiting stores that monitor customers who have had the vaccination. 

The survey also showed that 17% of Americans don’t think COVID-19 is real, while 10% preferred not to say, leaving 74% of Americans who said they did believe COVID-19 is real.

When asked which business locations should use vaccine passports to only allow entry to people who have had the COVID-19 vaccine, the majority said airlines and transport companies (37%), restaurants (30%), nightclubs and bars (27%) and beauty salons (26%). Only 20% of consumers said essential retail stores and banks should make passports mandatory, while 17% said so for non-essential retail stores.

Younger consumers are more likely than older consumers to think vaccine passports should be mandatory at non-essential stores and banks, with an average of 21% of GenZ and 18% of Millennial consumers wanting this. Millennials (22%) are slightly more likely than other generations to think essential stores should make COVID-19 passports mandatory. 

Talking about retailers and banks introducing passports for store entry, Qudini’s CEO and Co-founder, Imogen Wethered, says:

“While safety is a top concern for many consumers, the majority think COVID-19 passports within retail stores and banks is a step too far.” 

“However, retailers and banks do need to do more to reassure customers that social distancing measures are in place. Contactless payments, mask policies and hand sanitzers, as well as providing customers with the ability to schedule visits, skip lines and to collect orders at the curbside have all proven to help allay customer concerns.”

Two in five consumers (42%) said they are still concerned about shopping in stores as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Of those concerned, half (50%) expect to remain concerned about shopping in stores for up to 12 months. While 29% expect to be concerned between one and five years and 10% of consumers say they expect to be concerned about shopping in stores forever. 

Interestingly, Millennial and GenZ consumers are more likely to be concerned about shopping in stores than older generations, but when asked how long it will last they appeared to have a more optimistic outlook. More younger consumers said they are likely to be concerned for less than 11 months. Baby Boomers on the other hand were more likely to expect the pandemic to last 1-2 years and more Baby Boomers and GenX generations felt they would be concerned about shopping in stores forever.

Read the Consumer Behaviors During and After the Pandemic report

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