Shoppers in the UK are most likely to continue shopping online – on some purchases, however, they still want to head in-store. As retailers look to build back post-lockdown, understanding where and how customers will want to browse and buy could help push recovery.
YouGov’s International Omnichannel Retail Report finds that UK shoppers are most likely to shop exclusively online. They’re also more likely to have shopped online (86%) in early 2021 than in-store (77%). The primary motivations for wanting to head to physical retail, globally, are to ‘physically experience a product’ (62%) and ‘try things in store’ (53%). “The retail sector… has never been shaken as much as it has been during the past year,” says Adam Guiney, director of customer experience at YouGov. “Understanding consumer needs and the interplay between bricks and mortar and online retail … will be key for brands and retailers.”
Having become accustomed to online retail during the pandemic, people are set to continue. As the UK high street reopens, people are keen to head back in-store, with footfall steadily increasing – yet still down 26.8% on 2019 figures. YouGov’s report points to particular categories where in-store shopping remains important, such as clothing. Beauty is another sector looking to optimise its online presence, with some brands turning to tools such as AR to help shoppers try before they buy. Understanding that people are looking for flexibility, retailers could look to expand both their online and offline offerings and cater to the changing habits of UK shoppers.