A third of UK consumers are shopping more online now than during lockdown

Covid-19 News | Retail | Surveys

Scurri, the software provider that connects and optimises the eCommerce ordering, shipping, and delivery process is today releasing the results of a nationally representative survey on consumer shopping behaviors during and post lockdown.

The survey of over 2,000 UK adults shows that rather than slowing down, the eCommerce boom looks set to maintain its course. The study also looked at the items purchased during lockdown, the volumes of deliveries during and post lockdown, as well as several aspects of consumer outlook for the months ahead.

As many as a third of the UK population (33%) say they are shopping more online now than they did during lockdown, while 38% are shopping online as much as they did during lockdown. Regionally, these figures were highest in Wales where 39% are shopping more than during lockdown, compared to 27% in Northern Ireland, 32% in England and 36% in Scotland. Those who agreed that they are now shopping much more online than they did previously were in the 55+ bracket (19%) vs 11% of 18-24 year olds.

The most purchased items during lockdown included clothing (17%), followed by home and garden items (11%), alcohol (9%), DIY equipment e.g. paint, tools etc. (8%), health, beauty and fragrances (8%), electrical equipment (6%), footwear (2%) and sports equipment (3%).

During lockdown, an incredible 71% of British consumers received between 1-3 online shopping orders delivered to their homes every week, while 12% had as many as 4-6 parcels delivered every week. 5% of UK online shoppers had as many as 7-15 packages delivered on a weekly basis during the lockdown period. Since the lifting of lockdown, there has been only a negligible decline in the number of packages UK online shoppers have delivered to their homes every week. 66% (-5%) claim they are still receiving 1-3 online shopping orders delivered on a weekly basis, while 9% (-3%) say they still receive between 4-6 packages to their homes.

There is also good news on the horizon for British brands with consumer support looking very strong. As a result of the economic consequences of the pandemic, 59% of UK shoppers say that they intend to consciously seek out British brands to support the UK economy. This sentiment is currently highest among female consumers (63%) versus men (54%). Regionally, this sentiment was highest in Northern Ireland, where 64% agreed with this statement. The biggest difference was in terms of age. Those that agreed least with this were in the 18-24 bracket (45%), while the figure was 70% for those 55+.

On the release of the results, Rory O’Connor, Founder & CEO, Scurri said “While the road ahead for retail remains in some ways unclear, what these stats do make clear is that online shopping is the new norm. The lockdown meant that many who may not have previously shopped that much online became more accustomed to it. It is interesting to also see that there are still so many who are hesitant to shop in-store, but also that they believe things will take so long to return to pre-virus norms. The survey for us painted a clear picture of a cautious consumer who feels more comfortable shopping from the comforts of their own homes.”

Consumer outlook

When it comes to consumer outlook, UK consumers don’t see a return to pre-virus normality happening anytime soon. When asked how long it will take for the pre-Covid in-store shopping experience to return, 36% of the British believe it will take 6-12 months, while another 36% believe this could even take longer than a year. However, only 6% think things will never return to pre-virus norms while on the flip side, an optimistic 3% believe things will return to normal within the next 3 months.

Finally, concerning the kinds of safety measures retailers are rolling out to protect consumers, as many as a third of the UK population (33%) say they still feel unsafe shopping in-store due to the virus. In fact 34% of UK consumers say they are actually shopping less in store than during lockdown. When asked about the kinds of pandemic safety measures they have tried or been exposed to, 37% say they had tried contactless delivery, Click & Collect (26%), virtual queuing (14%), reservation shopping (12%).

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