The pandemic and lockdown have changed many aspects of life, including the way in which people are shopping. With all non-essential stores closed, people are shopping even more online and now also buying items online which they would not have done previously. So, what have people been buying during the lockdown?
Groceries Lead the Way
Research from YouGov found that groceries were the most common online lockdown purchase at 40%, which is no surprise considering that people are reluctant to visit supermarkets even though they remain open. Clothes and beauty products followed at 29% which is somewhat of a surprise considering that people are not socialising or going into the office and this was ahead of medicine and health products at 27%.
DIY and craft supplies were high at 24% which is no surprise as people look to start new hobbies and find ways to stay entertained at home, which was also reflected with the sale of books, magazines and comics at 21%. Activewear and equipment were purchased by 11% overall, but 1 in 5 Brits aged between 18 and 24 which shows that health is a priority for younger people. Interestingly, 25 to 34 is the age bracket that shops the most online with just 5% saying that they have not bought anything online.
Is Non-Essential Spending Acceptable?
Brits are buying 35% more online than before the lockdown, but this does not paint the whole picture as a fifth are also shopping less online since the lockdown. This could be for a number of reasons, but there are 17% of respondents that stated that they felt that non-essential online shopping was not or not very acceptable. Interestingly, research also suggests that these new shopping habits will continue even in post-lockdown which is bad news for the High Street.
Measures Taken by Couriers
With so many people shopping online both for non-essential and essential purchases, couriers are having to use measures to make sure that all deliveries are done safely and within Government rules. Companies like Parcel2Go have outlined measures that their couriers can follow to minimise the risk while maintaining service standards, such as leaving parcels in safe places and avoiding contact through asking for names as opposed to signatures amongst other measures.
It is clear that online shopping has risen and been a major part of the UK lockdown. People are buying their essential items online so that they do not have to risk going to the supermarket, but people are also still buying non-essential items that will help them to cope and stay entertained while at home such as clothing, arts and crafts, games and exercise equipment. Due to this rise, couriers are now having the change their service in order to protect their own health, the health of customers and public health as a whole.