I think we are most aware the lockdown has changed shopping habits for all age groups in store and online which were able to open to customers. The coronavirus has hit hard on the high street shops, retailers which have been classed as essential have seen a huge growth, interestingly, the virus may have rekindled the importance of the ‘ corner shop’ which most families have been able to rely on. Although the supermarket became the great ‘one stop shop’ over recent years the ability to get an online slot or the daunting idea of relentless queueing to be able to enter the store has forced a possible re-think to how we shop and the future of shopping. To be able to pop to the local corner shop and make do with what’s available has been a breath of fresh air and supporting the ‘little guy’ has been a feel -good experience for the majority of families. Supporting the corner shop is something many of us wish to permanently include for the future, maybe it’s time for the smaller shops to flourish, to not be swallowed up by the supermarkets or be seen as the forgotten dated store.
I personally found shopping at the Turkish/Polish corner stores to be most exhilarating, the inability to read the packaging which has grabbed my attention on the end of aisle and gondola bay promotions has produced some interesting purchases, which has caused much laughter at home and evoked the feeling of holidaying abroad, coupled with the gorgeous weather during lockdown (and obviously understanding the seriousness of the situation) I think most families have treated the experience as a holiday with a complete review of family life.
When asked, this is how some people have changed their shopping habits during lockdown.
When asked, this is what some people class as essentials for lockdown.
How has online shopping been effected by Coronavirus?
As we would rightfully assume, online shopping has soared during the lockdown period yet sadly we have seen the closure of some high street chains or companies reshuffling to close certain stores , Oasis, Debenhams , Monsoon Accessorize and Kath Kidston to name but a few recent brands; With the hope to save their online businesses.
The graph below shows the percentages of our shopping activity from May 2020.
As you can see for those who could, shopping for groceries online had the highest increase of 32.38% in the UK during the month of May.
Online retailers Amazon and Asos have noticed a massive growth in sales too as it’s been the only way to buy certain items safely and have them delivered direct to your door. These companies will probably see a continued growth as once the habit has been established the consumer will continue with the easy option.
From doing research on Asos, we came across this article “Asos Marketplace reports lockdown growth“. Jo Hunt, head of Asos Marketplace, has reported “strong sales” within the company, as well as brand and traffic growth in April and May as consumers turn to online vintage fashion.
Despite the positive sales growth of both retailers, they have also been heavily criticised for keeping their fulfilment centres open during the pandemic and putting their staff at risk of contracting and spreading the virus. However, both have hit back stating they are well within their rights to continue trading and demand for their goods was still high.
Below is an online buying comparison from May 2019 to May 2020 for the top 10 fastest growing categories to the top 10 declining categories.
Albeit we are enjoying the shopping online power, I still maintain (and so do many), that going into the store to see the quality of the product or the need for the tactile experience is still important for various purchases. So once the world opens up the retail sector in the ‘new norm’, then I trust it will be business as usual for the majority.
At Impulse we can make the retail stores a safer place for customers when the doors open this month and also looking to the near future when the hospitality sector is able to reopen too, with our free-standing ‘Touch Free’ hand sanitiser stations.