Royal Mail’s annual Delivery Matters study has revealed data showing that new purchasing habits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to 11% year-on-year online shopping growth in the monthly amount consumers spend online.
The research reveals how online shopping has helped UK shoppers to get through the early stages of lockdown leading to the average UK shopper now spending on average £83 a month online compared to £75 in 2019.
Online shopping growth Influences:
Ever growing social media has influenced the increase in online purchases with 25 percent of people purchasing items online after seeing posts or comments by others. Younger shoppers and women have been the most influenced by this.
Choice & Convenience:
Despite the pandemic keeping people away from brick-and-mortar stores to stop the virus spread, the choice to shop online rather than in-store remains similar to last year with convenience and choice being important to consumers: ease of comparing prices (53%), more choice (51%), easier to search and buy (49%) as well as the comfort and convenience of shopping from home (44%).
Two thirds of shoppers prefer home delivery but if that option isn’t on offer, the Post Office remains the most trusted alternative (73%). Delivery to the local Royal Mail Customer Service Point was preferred by 67% of online shoppers (up from 64% in 2019).
Over half of consumers didn’t have a particular day they preferred to shop on but out of all days, Friday and Saturday took the lead. Smartphone users tend to be night owls (59% shopping between midnight and 6am), whilst those using desktops typically make purchases during the day.
It’s also not all doom and gloom for the high street. The research shows that 90% of UK online shoppers continue to purchase in-store as lockdown restrictions ease.