With the loosening of Covid-19 lockdown measures in the UK, shops reopened and consumers were able to shop in-store again. However, British customers still remain wary about purchasing items in physical stores and online shopping is the current preferable option.
That’s according to research commissioned by e-commerce platform ChannelAdvisor and research data firm Dynata, which surveyed 1,050 UK consumers on June 22, one week after the majority of stores were able to reopen.
Over 60 percent of respondents had not visited a shop since the reopening, and of those who had, 40 percent said that the physical shopping experience was ‘less enjoyable’ than before the pandemic. Meanwhile, only 40 percent of shoppers planned to visit high street brands in the next month, while 35 percent agreed that they would opt for shopping centers.
From respondents who abstained from in-store shopping altogether, when asked for a reason for this decision, 46 percent stated the inconvenience caused by closed fitting rooms and limited entry, 59 percent wanted to avoid potential queues, 32 percent thought that stores wouldn’t have correct measures in place and 25 percent preferred to purchase solely online.
The research additionally confirmed that many consumers may stick to the online shopping that they engaged in during the lockdown period: 67 percent of shoppers responded that they feel comfortable purchasing from online marketplaces like Amazon, 58 percent said that buying directly from retailer websites puts them at ease and only 29 percent mentioned that they felt comfortable shopping in physical stores.
“We knew that there would be some hesitation around visiting the shops during the reopening week, but it appears as though many customers will continue to stay away for at least the next month,” said Jon Maury, managing director, EMEA for ChannelAdvisor, in a statement. “Retailers should be commended for introducing safety precautions into their physical locations, but they should also be making use of digital channels as many customers continue to stay away.
“Online marketplaces are becoming the shopping avenue of choice for the majority of customers, so brands and retailers need to ensure they’re setting up their digital shopfronts now while in-stores sales growth is slow.”
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