PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A new poll from the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Health Research indicates while the majority of Americans do not see themselves using virtual services post-pandemic, they still want to have that option.
1,001 adults were surveyed between May 12-16 regarding their post-pandemic habits. More than half of the respondents said they are not likely to receive telehealth and 66% said they likely won’t use grocery delivery.
Virtual services like grocery delivery, telehealth, virtual events and curbside pickup proliferated during the pandemic as Americans sought to keep as much distance as possible. But even though demand for grocery delivery has declined in the past few months, Kroger executives see e-commerce as the future of the grocery industry, according to Kroger spokesperson Eric Halvorson.
“Even if this poll says people are changing… we’re confident that the customer in general likes access to the convenience, even if they don’t necessarily want it every time they shop…They’re confident that this is part of the current growth and the great growth prospects we have at Kroger,” said Halvorson.
Halvorson said Kroger is expanding with distribution centers across the country to reach more customers, no Kroger store needed.
“So as we develop this digital capacity, we don’t necessarily have to have stores. So it’s a fascinating new aspect of the grocery business that people probably wouldn’t have anticipated five or 10 years ago. The more we can open some of those distribution centers, the more we’ll be able to provide that service to ultimately into as much of the country as we can,” he said.
It’s a similar situation at OSF HealthCare.
Jennifer Junis, senior vice president of OSF OnCall, the company’s urgent care locations, said they are doubling down and expanding remote healthcare options.
“We know it’s not for everyone, but we have so many patients that need care… We certainly want to be available for those patients that want to use telehealth, we want to be able to meet them where they are,” she said.
Junis said telehealth is evolving into its own specialty to connect with patients in a different way. More than 90% of patients reported a positive experience with telehealth.
“We’re really trying to build that all inclusive model of being able to care for people wherever they are,” she said.