5 things UK consumers buy online even after a pandemic

Research shows that 92% plan to continue shopping online for added convenience.

Consumption habits have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, and new research suggests e-commerce may remain the norm for the foreseeable future. In a new survey by McKinsey, 92% of UK consumers said they would continue shopping online even if it was safe to return to retail in person.

However, this is not true for all consumer goods. In a post-pandemic world, what are the British still buying online? A consumer study suggests that these five categories of goods are purchased online for a long time.

Clothing – but with caveats

According to the McKinsey report, 77% of UK consumers have done the majority of their clothing purchases online in the past year. After the pandemic, 65% of them say their online clothing purchases will stay the same – or increase.

After staying at home for more than a year, Brits are turning to comfortable, personalized clothing, with several top brands even offering DIY tie-dye kits, according to a study conducted by Facebook into 2021 trends and topics. However, the vast majority of those sales went to retailers who had already built strong digital businesses online.

“Even once the foreclosure measures are relaxed, the ease of e-commerce will keep many shoppers online and out of stores,” said Chris Elliott, head of market analysis at Edge by Ascential. “All of this means that Asos and Boohoo are in a strong financial position.”

Stores that had to move quickly to a more online presence, or stores like Primark that refused to do any type of online store, did not get their share of online shopping.

Glasses are in the spotlight

It’s no surprise that in addition to feeling comfortable with tie-dyeing, consumers are also opting for more comfortable eyewear. As many office workers have switched to working from home, the glasses are more practical and comfortable with many options to buy them online. A study by Statista shows that 19% of Britons wear their glasses more, while 34% of Britons wear less contact lenses.

Many fashion bloggers indicate that new eyewear looks have come out and more vintage and timeless looks are like big round glasses.

This research suggests that consumers have opted for comfort, low maintenance, and slow fashion looks during the pandemic, and those preferences will be here to stay as long as they are satisfied by online retailers.

Personal care and beauty help consumers heal themselves

Perhaps because it’s been a tough year, the indulge vibe is so powerful – and more than ever, personal and beauty care products like bath bombs, makeup kits, and beauty treatments. skin are purchased from the comfort of our own homes.

Euromonitor’s international beauty survey showed that 34% of consumers could be considered “digital shoppers,” which they define as having purchased online and influenced by online beauty influencers. Not only that, but 41% of consumers were interested in personalized hair care products purchased online.

“Even when consumers return to salons and spas, home self-care habits will persist as many seek cheaper and convenient options to indulge themselves,” Lisa Holmes wrote in the report. Perhaps because consumers were worried about their finances, many opted for less expensive DIY options rather than splurging on in-person treatments at salons.

In light of these reports, this trend promises to continue even though it is safe to revert to our old normal.

Over-the-counter transformed into an over-the-sofa

The McKinsey report suggests that UK consumers are buying over-the-counter (over-the-counter) drugs and vitamins online and plan to continue doing so.

It is likely that this trend started because he was not sure to go to doctor’s offices and pharmacies, any of which could be frequented by someone sick with the coronavirus. Instead, consumers searched for delivery options online.

Today, nearly 2/3 (64%) of those who have opted to purchase vitamins and medications online say they plan to continue doing so in the future.

Pet care and services can be purchased at home

Another surprising area where consumers have indicated a strong preference for online shopping is in pet care and services.

The McKinsey report showed a sustained shift towards online pet care through and after COVID. Of all the consumer categories examined, pet care was the category with the highest intention to continue buying after COVID, at 54th place.

Compared to categories like tobacco (a score of 10) or alcoholic beverages (with a score of -4), it seems clear that pet owners plan to continue receiving goods and services for their loved ones in ordering online, rather than venturing into pet stores.

A post-COVID world might not look so different

Although many UK shoppers plan to get together with friends and family, go on vacation and hit the pub when it is safe to do so, many of their online shopping habits will remain the same – even when those same retail stores reopen and be safe. to visit.

By locking in and forcing UK consumers to change their habits, retailers should be careful with their new customers online and be prepared to tackle these trends in the future.


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