The vast majority of UK consumers who bought online for the first time during the pandemic will continue to buy online, despite the High Street having reopened earlier this month.
The pandemic is the main reason for this shift, with 56 per cent of clothes shoppers telling digital marketing agency MullenLowe Profero they bought more often online during the pandemic than they used to.
Confidence has grown too, with a quarter of all respondents saying they have grown more confident shopping online during the pandemic and a further discovering new brands while shopping online during the pandemic.
“The pandemic has caused a seismic shift in all our behaviours, but perhaps none more so than in the field of ecommerce,” said Rowan Kisby, strategy director at MullenLowe Profero.
“The sector has seen five years of growth in just 12 months and the shift to online shopping is here to stay,” Kisby told City A.M.
The main reasons for this continued online shopping post-pandemic are all related to convenience, Kisby’s team found.
When asked about the reasons why they are choosing to continue to shop online, the convenience of not travelling to stores ranked high while no crowds or queues and the ease of having items delivered to their doors ranked second and third, respectively.
Of those who shopped online for the first time during the pandemic, 74 per cent agrees that it’s been easier than they thought it would be.
“Convenience is critical to keep this new wave of online consumers that have been won over by the surprising ease of ecommerce, and will be essential to guarantee customer satisfaction. When thinking about convenience, we need to look at the experience as a whole, from ease of item discovery right through to the last mile,” Kisby said.
Attitudes toward online giant Amazon demonstrates the need for such convenience, Kisby pointed out. 53 per cent default to Amazon for most purchases and 72 per cent enjoy the convenience the online platform provides.
The impact of Brexit can’t be overlooked when it comes to such shifting consumer behaviours.
The research reveals that 73 per cent of online shoppers are planning to buy more British goods to support British industries post-Brexit, with, again, customer convenience being the catalyst for this, as 48 per cent say they are less likely to buy from EU suppliers because of concerns over additional charges.
Meanwhile, 44 per cent say they are less likely to do so because of concerns over delivery timeframes.
Worries abound too, with 57 per cent worrying about the impact of Brexit on the prices of products in the UK, 50 per cent concerned that EU retailers will now be unwilling to ship to the UK, and a further 50 per cent feeling more nervous about buying items that will be delivered from abroad.
This article was originally published on City A.M.