Press Release

Sensormatic Solutions Surveys Find Consumers Turn to Buy Online, Pickup in-Store (BOPIS) for Back-to-School Shopping

September 01, 2020


New findings reveal that 44% of consumers are unlikely to make a purchase if retailer doesn’t offer contactless checkout

woman and child wearing masks with shopping bags

NEUHAUSEN, Switzerland — (August 31, 2020) — Johnson Controls, the global leader for smart and sustainable buildings, today announced that Sensormatic Solutions, its leading global retail solutions portfolio, has released the results of its second annual 2020 Back-to-School survey and third monthly COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment survey of more than 2,100 combined consumers. A key finding revealed an increased adoption of buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) options due to in-store shopping concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over half (52%) of respondents indicated that they are moderately or very concerned about shopping in-store, an 11% increase from Sensormatic Solutions June COVID-19 survey. As a result, 36% of consumers turned to BOPIS services in July, compared to 32% in April (a 13% increase). The 2020 Back-to-School survey identified a similar trend, as an increasing number of consumers turned to BOPIS/curbside pickup in 2020 for several categories compared to last year’s back-to-school survey, including:

  • School supplies – 15% in 2020, a 67% increase from 2019
  • Shoes – 11% in 2020, a 38% increase from 2019
  • Clothing/apparel – 20% in 2020, a 33% increase from 2019
  • Electronics –14% in 2020, a 27% increase from 2019

“The back-to-school shopping season will be the first big test for retailers as we approach the three-month sprint to the holidays,” said Bjoern Petersen, President at Sensormatic Solutions. “Now is the time to pressure test fulfillment operations to ensure they are ready for holiday shopping as we do expect to see significant demand for BOPIS/curbside this year. Therefore, creating a seamless and positive shopping experience through a real-time view of inventory and the right number of store associates on-hand to meet demand will set retailers up for success later.”

Back-to-School Spending Scales Back in 2020

The survey also found that back-to-school spending is expected to be lower than normal due to the current economic climate and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly three quarters (70%) of consumers said the current state of the economy would cause them to spend significantly or slightly less on back-to-school shopping in 2020, compared to only 37% in 2019; this is an 89% increase year-over-year.

Looking specifically at apparel, 30% of consumers shopped for this category in-store last month, a 150% increase from April, when many stores were still closed. However, compared to last year’s back-to-school survey, anticipated spending on clothing decreased 39% year-over-year (from 51% to 31%).

Consumers Continue to Demand a Clean and Contactless In-Store Shopping Experience

According to the COVID-19 survey, 44% of respondents said that they would be somewhat unlikely or very unlikely to make a purchase if a retailer doesn’t offer contactless checkout or a physical barrier at the point of sale, a 29% increase from June. In order of importance, 40% of customers ranked cleanliness as top priority, outpacing price (23%) and product availability (23%).

“For the month of July, in-store shopper traffic climbed to -39.4% annually, according to our ShopperTrak analytics, a far cry from -78.6% at the beginning of the pandemic,” added Petersen. “This is largely because, as retail stores have reopened in the United States, many have prioritized measures to make customers feel safe and comfortable in-store, including implementing real-time occupancy solutions to comply with social distancing guidelines and setting up physical barriers at the point of sale.”

For more stats on the impact of COVID-19 on retail shopping, including back-to-school, click here to view our infographic. To learn more about how Sensormatic Solutions can help you with your COVID-19 retail needs, click here.

Survey Methodology
Sensormatic Solutions collected responses from 1,000 US-based consumers, 18-years and older, via a third-party provider to determine findings of its July 2020 Consumer Sentiment Survey. Findings for Sensormatic Solutions 2020 U.S. Back-to-School Shopping Trends survey are based on responses from 750 US-based parents of children ages 5-18 and 250 US-based full-time undergrad or graduate students, via a third-party provider. Both surveys were conducted between July 27-28, 2020.

About Johnson Controls

At Johnson Controls, we transform the environments where people live, work, learn and play. From optimizing building performance to improving safety and enhancing comfort, we drive the outcomes that matter most. We deliver our promise in industries such as healthcare, education, data centers and manufacturing. With a global team of 105,000 experts in more than 150 countries and over 130 years of innovation, we are the power behind our customers’ mission. Our leading portfolio of building technology and solutions includes some of the most trusted names in the industry, such as Tyco®, York®, Metasys®, Ruskin®, Titus®, Frick®, Penn®, Sabroe®, Simplex®, Ansul® and Grinnell®. For more information, visit or follow @johnsoncontrols on Twitter.

About Sensormatic Solutions

Sensormatic Solutions is the leading global retail solutions portfolio of Johnson Controls enabling smart and connected shopper engagement. By combining critical insights into retail inventory, shopper traffic and loss prevention, Sensormatic Solutions powers operational excellence at scale and helps create unique shopping experiences. Our solutions deliver real-time visibility and predictive analytics for accurate decision-making across the enterprise, enabling retailers to confidently move into the future. With more than 1.5 million data collection devices in the retail marketplace, we capture 40 billion shopper visits and track and protect billions of items each year. Our retail portfolio features the premier Sensormatic, ShopperTrak and TrueVUE brands. Please visit Sensormatic Solutions or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and our YouTube channel.


© 2020 Johnson Controls.  All Rights Reserved. SENSORMATIC, SHOPPERTRAK, TRUEVUE and the product names listed above are trademarks and/or registered trademarks. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.


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