Lockdown study by LiveArea reveals early online Christmas shopping

A study developed by LiveArea,  of 2,000 UK consumers, highlights changing role of retail and unique nature of the 2020 festive shopping season. 

Over a third (36%) of Brits will do all, or at the very least most, of their Christmas shopping during November’s lockdown period. Only 10% said they wouldn’t do any Christmas shopping during the period. 18-34-year olds are the most eager, with 88% planning to do Christmas shopping over November.

Coronavirus hits Christmas budgets
Over a quarter (27%) of UK consumers expect to spend less this year on Christmas, compared to previous years. This is particularly true for 35-54-year olds, where the number almost reaches (30%). There is some positive news, with 17% planning to spend more this year with lockdown helping them to save. The price of items (38%) will be the priority for consumer during the period, with reliable deliveries (24%) coming next.

Websites the biggest barrier to lockdown sales
Buffering or malfunctioning websites (90%) are the biggest turnoffs for consumers. Indeed, 57% would be strongly put off making a purchase if they had any website issues. Next in the list of issues undermining sales is delayed deliveries (36%), followed by any lack of communication during delivery (34%). At the other end of the scale was low stock levels, which put off 21% of consumers.

Retail loyalty dissipates in lockdown
Over two-thirds (67%) of UK consumers intend to shop with new brands during lockdown, rising to three-quarters (75%) for 18-34-year olds. With stores closed, consumers are clearly looking further afield for retail purchases. Conversely, only 33% intend to stick with tried and tested brands throughout lockdown.

Analysis
‘It is now undeniable – price, online experience and delivery are, and will remain, the most important consumer purchasing factors. The second lockdown has proven that the high-street is simply not necessary for retail businesses to flourish,’ said Elliott Jacobs, EMEA Commerce Consulting Director at LiveArea.

‘The key to navigating the market is adaptability – all businesses need the ability to understand consumer changes and react instantly. Habits are changing at an unprecedented rate, a trend which will not change any time soon. Retailers can only flourish if they embrace digital and the benefits that come with it,’ continued Jacobs.

About the research
The study was developed by LiveArea and conducted in November 2020 by independent research Opinium, surveying 2,000 consumers across all verticals in the UK.

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