Shopping habits changing for good

Research just released has revealed how the UK’s shopping habits have changed over the past six months of coronavirus. The proportion who think their shopping habits have changed permanently has gone up from 60% in April to 81% in September.

The big winner is e-commerce  – the number of people who say they purchase on Amazon more often jumping from 19% in April to 29% in September. In addition, one in five shoppers (20%) now believe they will maintain that habit when the pandemic is over, up from the 12% who thought that way six months ago. Almost as many (18%) say that when things return to normal, they will continue to buy items online that they would have previously bought on the high street.

The research also highlighted that independent retailers have become increasingly popular among UK shoppers – 18% now say they shop at those stores more regularly, and 14% that they will continue to do so even after the pandemic has subsided.

Such a change in habits would change the shape and purpose of the high street, while also increasing the demand for last mile delivery  Chris Cooper, planning director at Melody, comments: “The recent surge towards e-commerce has transformed the UK’s retail landscape. The data also shows that this isn’t a one-time or short-term thing. Retailers are having to come to grips with years of advancement in online shopping that have taken place in a handful of months. A number of big-name high street brands have already fallen by the wayside because shoppers have utterly changed how they think and behave. Those that remain will have to double down on their online efforts.”

The study of more than 2,000 UK adults, carried out three times across the past five months, was commissioned by global e-commerce agency Melody.

There is a session at the Capital West London Build and Recover Summit on September 29, an online event, focussed on the future of the sub-region’s high streets. More information.

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