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Customer Behaviour

As UK retailers continue to reopen, Forrester has published a report that reveals the impact of COVID-19 on UK consumer behaviour.

The report looks at  how and on what customers are spending their money on, to what extend forced digital engagement will accelerate the shift to ecommerce in the long-run, and how retailers will need to reinvent customer experiences as a result of these changes.

Key findings of the report include:

  • UK consumers are spending more time online but not always more money
    • 32% say they are spending more online than they would normally but 40% say they are spending the same
  • Over half (51%) have cut back on all necessary spending
    • There has been a 39% increase in grocery spend and a 26% increase in on-demand entertainment, but a 46% decrease in clothing spend and a 23% decrease in personal care and beauty product spend
  • Forced digital interactions will accelerate newcomers shift to ecommerce
    • 15% of UK adults purchased groceries online for the first time during the pandemic and over a third (34%) of these have said they will purchase more online in the future
  • More consumers will embrace contactless and online payments
    • 44% of UK adults are using contactless payments more to avoid touching screens
  • New digital consumption and communication habits will persist as UK consumers rely on on-demand entertainment and social media apps
    • There has been a 48% increase in time spent on Whatsapp during the pandemic
  • The crisis will favour larger retailers that have already pivoted to digital
    • Whilst 38% of UK consumers want to support local businesses, many independent stores, who are only just starting to digitise their business, won’t survive

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