The UK might be nearly half-way through Lockdown 2.0 but it seems most consumers are putting the time to good use, with over a third (36%) of Brits planning to do all, or, at the very least, most of their Christmas shopping during the period.
So says a new study from LiveArea, carried out by Opinium, which shows only 10% of Brits say they would not do any festive shopping during lockdown. Young adults are the keenest, with 88% of under 34s planning to do Christmas shopping this month.
Not that too many will be splashing the cash; 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- to 54-year-olds, where the number reaches 30%.
However, just over a sixth (17%) do plan to spend more this year, with lockdown helping them to save. The price of items (38%) will be the priority for consumers during the period, with reliable deliveries (24%) coming next.
The sting is the tail is that nearly all consumers (90%) see buffering or malfunctioning websites as the biggest turnoff; indeed, nearly three-fifths (57%) would be strongly put off making a purchase if they had any website issues.
Next on 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.
But with stores closed, consumers are clearly looking further afield for retail purchases. Over two-thirds (67%) intend to shop with new brands during lockdown, rising to three-quarters (75%) for 18- to 34-year-olds; only a third (33%) intend to stick with tried and tested brands throughout lockdown.
LiveArea EMEA consulting director Elliott Jacobs said: “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.
“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.”
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