The COVID-19 outbreak has contributed to an 11% year-on-year increase in the monthly amount consumers spend online, according to Royal Mail Group. Nowadays, the average shopper in the United Kingdom spends £83 (€91.5) per month online. Last year, this was £75 (€82.7).
Not only are the purchasing habits changing, but the social media influence has also led to this growth. Social media influence continues to grow, with 25% of people purchasing items online after seeing posts or comments by others, with younger shoppers (47% of 18-34s) and women (30%) most likely to have made a purchase after being influenced by online posts.
Reasons for shopping online
The reasons for opting to shop online rather than in-store remain similar to last year. Ease of comparing prices (53%), more options (51%), easier to search and buy (49%) and the comfort and convenience of shopping from home (44%).
Popular shopping days
Friday and Saturday led the charge, in terms of the most popular days when people like to shop online. However, 67% said they were not swayed by one day in particular as they would gladly shop on any day of the week. As for the preferred time, smartphone users tend to be night owls. 59% shopping between midnight and 6AM. Whilst those using desktops typically make purchases during the day.
Two thirds of shoppers prefer home delivery but if that option is not available, the Post Office remains the most trusted alternative (73%). Delivery to the local Royal Mail Customer Service Point was preferred by 67% of online shoppers.
It is also not all doom and gloom for the high street. 90% of United Kingdom online shoppers continue to purchase in-store as lockdown restrictions ease.