Britons reach e-tail tipping point, many to e-shop for fashion more often

May 27, 2020
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Some 30% of UK consumers will shop online more in the next six months as they cut their visits to high streets and shopping centres to reduce their chances of catching Covid-19. And overall 35% of UK adults expect to shop online more often in the half-year ahead (for a variety of reasons), compared to only 18% who expect to do so less.

Will more UK shoppers now get their fashion fix online?

That’s according to a new survey from fintech firm JGOO, which also said that 29% of people will boost their clothing e-spend and 22% will spend more on accessories online.

That said, those numbers are almost balanced out by the numbers who plan to spend less online (27% for clothing and 18% for accessories), although that's probably not going to result in a big loss for online retailers as these are likely to be consumers who had no other choice than to e-shop due to the closure of most physical shops. 

But while it would be expected that some people would cut back on their online shopping once stores are open again, and while others will boost their spend due to virus fears, it’s significant that a big percentage are planning to shop online more because of positive experiences in recent months. Some 33% of people overall say they're going to do more shopping online because they’ve become used to it during the coronavirus lockdown.

This could mean the lockdown has been a tipping point for those consumers who remained resistant to the appeal of e-tail. Having had no alternative but to turn to webstores, they’ve realised it's actually an easy and convenient way to shop. This tipping point could have taken several years without the pandemic effect. 

JGOO said this means UK retailers “must have strong online propositions for their domestic market” but they also need to take advantage of overseas markets, such as China.

Tourist arrivals in the UK could stay low for some time and the tourist shoppers that British retailers have become used to may not be able to provide the boost that they have done in recent years. However, they could still be prepared to buy from British retailers online if prices, products and the overall service levels are right.

In fact, the firm’s earlier research had shown that 76% of Chinese citizens who’ve previously bought British goods online plan to increase their online expenditure in 2020 year-on-year. Reasons for this include British goods becoming more fashionable in China. And 23% of Chinese people who took part in the survey said it was because the profile of the UK had risen as a result of headline-grabbing developments “such as Brexit and the issues concerning Prince Harry and Meghan Markle”.

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