As we near the 21st June, the proposed date in which restrictions will be lifted, it seems like things are getting back to normality. One thing is clear, even after Covid, things have changed: people are adopting new behaviours, working culture has shifted and we’ve found new ways to go about our daily lives. In particular, the pandemic has affected eCommerce trends due to lockdown, convenience, safety concerns and more. 

Online shopping’s popularity was dramatically increasing before Covid and lockdown only accelerated the move towards it. For most consumers, even those who would previously only shop in-store, it became the only viable option to buy groceries and essentials. To match the new demand, retailers and brands have had to increase their online presence and capability.

But will eCommerce still be the shopping method of choice even after Covid? In the past few weeks since hospitality and in-store retail opened up, huge crowds have been flocking to high streets and city centres. There’s been some discussion around ‘Revenge Shopping’ – the concept that because consumers feel like they have missed out on so much shopping, they plan to make up for lost time spending. With so many months cooped up indoors, it makes sense that people would want to enjoy in-person experiences more. Although there is a clear movement towards online, in-store retail arguably still has a very relevant place for the country right now.

We asked our network of Shepherds about their online shopping habits during the last lockdown compared to now when restrictions are easing. 764 diverse people all across the country completed our survey, giving an insight into how popular eCommerce will be when compared to brick-and-mortar retail in the post-Covid world.

Before Covid, only 5% of people said they did all of their shopping online. During lockdown, this rose to 14%. Despite the rise in eCommerce, only 5% said they do all of their shopping online now. While restrictions increased the popularity of online shopping, it was temporary, revealing that people are still looking for a mix of in-store and online retail. However it seems that Covid has made people more willing to do at least some shopping online, with 12% doing no online shopping before lockdown dropping to just 10% now.

Before Covid, 25% of people said they did most of their shopping online, which increased a lot during lockdown to 44%. Less people (37%) do most of their shopping online now, although this has risen since Covid.

Perhaps not surprisingly, most people choose to shop online because of its convenience. The second most popular reason is that it’s easier than shopping in person. Despite Covid, only 8% of respondents shop online because it’s safer than visiting shops in person.

We found that most people spend the same amount when shopping online and in-store. However, a large number of respondents said they spend less online. This could be due to discounts and the fact that it’s easier for shoppers to quickly browse around for a good deal.

Building on from our findings about spending – getting a good deal is the most important factor amongst consumers. We also found that a quick and easy experience is also a key factor in online shopping.

Clothes and tech products are the most popular products with online shoppers. Reflecting the Covid landscape, buying groceries online is also now very popular.

Perhaps surprisingly, most of our respondents said they prefer the experience of shopping in-store compared to online. Although online shopping is undeniably growing in popularity, this shows that brick-and-mortar retail is definitely not on it’s way out. In the wake of Covid and the fact that consumers have been unable to shop in person has likely made them more willing to get out and enjoy the in-person shopping experience more. While online shopping is great for convenience, consumers are still showing that in-store has a very relevant place in the current climate. Ultimately, a mix of online and in-store seems to be preferred.

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All data was collected from our network of Shepherds – local people who use our app to collect data on locations all across the country. Click below to book a free Shepper check to see how we can collect data for your business.

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