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How do UK shoppers feel about Coronavirus?

Author's avatar By Lewis Dormer 17 Mar, 2020
Essential Essential topic

Chart of the week: 25% of UK shoppers polled by RetailX have reduced or completely stopped shopping 'in person at physical stores' while 5% report a temporary increase

Data gathered by RetailX, on Wednesday 11 March, indicated some small but significant changes in customer behaviour due to growing Covid-19 concerns.

As well as a reduction in shopping in person, the report found the UK public already cutting down on leisure activities, eating out and attending large work-related events.

Moreover, following the Prime Minister's new Coronavirus approach outlined on Monday 16 March, we are currently witnessing increased changes to online and offline consumer behaviour.

COVID changes to consumer behaviour

Consumer analytics are only as useful as the context we afford them. This same group of 1,000 UK participants was also asked about current online shopping habits. Over 95% report shopping online at least once a year but, notably, a significant chunk classed their activity in the 1-5 times a year bracket, which is less than every other month.

Online shopping COVID

In light of the new medical advice, there are some key questions to answer:

  • How will infrequent online shoppers adjust to regular, essential, e-commerce?
  • Will the late adopters (for want of a better term, 'laggards') finally make the switch into the digital world?
  • Finally, how will the regular online shoppers react to potential supply-chain delays or customer service conflicts brought on by the changing e-commerce environment?

Now, digital marketers have an opportunity to reach and convert a much wider audience than previously, but must keep customer success at the heart of their decisions. Dr. Dave Chaffey's e-commerce statistics benchmarking guide tracks the customer journey using the RACE Framework, from consumer adoption through to engagement.

Digital marketing moves fast, and e-commerce during Coronavirus even more so - these 2020 e-commerce statistics from eurostat covering all European online shoppers are a good reference point.

Finally, looking to the other side of the storm, RetailX asked shoppers how they imagine they will go back to shopping after the COVID-19 health issue is over.

Shopping after COVID-19

Last week, 85% of UK shoppers responded that either they haven't changed how they shop (yet), or, they plan to go back to their previous way of shopping as soon as possible. And that statistic, for e-commerce marketers, represents a challenge: to delight - and keep - your customers online.

Let's weather this storm together!

Author's avatar

By Lewis Dormer

Lewis Dormer is a Digital Marketing Executive at Smart Insights. He has worked across various channels in digital marketing, from search engine optimization and web content creation to email marketing and social media. Outside of work, he enjoys keeping fit by running and going to the gym, and he spends his weekends sampling the finest beers in Leeds. You can connect with Lewis on LinkedIn.

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