Increased Online Shopping to Continue Post Lockdown

As bricks and mortar stores begin to open up across the world, research from global commerce services company PFS has shown that 77% of consumers who have purchased more items online during the lockdown say that they will continue to shop online more frequently after restrictions have been lifted. 

The survey found that 60% of consumers interviewed said they had bought more goods then they usually would during the lockdown, and 53% said they had bought more online. Of this 53%, more than three quarters expect they will continue to do this post-lockdown, indicating a possible consumer behavior change for UK consumers.

The breakdown by vertical looks like this:

  • 42% say they will buy more groceries online
  • 20% say they will continue to order more clothing online
  • 11% say they will buy more footwear online 
  • 16% more DIY, homeware and garden products
  • 18% will buy more health products 
  • 11% more beauty and cosmetics
  • 6% will buy more luxury goods 
  • 11% plan to buy more technology online

The research also showed that the measures imposed by the lockdown have meant that consumers are changing the way they think about online shopping, and broadening their view on what sort of items they would buy online. 39% of UK shoppers said that Social Distancing has encouraged them to buy things online that they would never have considered before the pandemic hit.  That number was even higher in the US, with 63% of consumers saying the same.

Zach Thomann, Executive Vice President & General Manager at PFS, comments: “Our research has identified that aside from the obvious increase in purchasing of food and beverages, consumers have turned to online shopping to help them make it through the Coronavirus Pandemic, buying more cosmetics and clothes online than they did before. Interestingly, the majority see this increase in purchasing to continue after the lockdown. Brick-and-mortar retailers need to prepare now for this forced acceleration in the migration to online shopping.”

UK online sales had a record-breaking month in May, with growth of 129.5% year-on-year, according to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker.  


 Snapchat Launch ‘Dynamics Ads’


Snap, the company behind the popular social media Snapchat, has announced the worldwide rollout of its new advertising product, ‘Dynamic Ads’.

Initially introduced to us back in Autumn, the tool makes it easier than ever to create ads for the platform. The company gives would-be advertisers various templates to use, which are all optimized for mobile, allowing companies the opportunity to create ads in real-time.

While this feature was initially available in the US, after a successful trial period it has now been made available to all international global advertisers. Formatting ads to suit the mobile platform had previously been an issue for advertisers, but this new tool takes away that problem, syncing the company’s product catalog’s, and displaying them on the platform automatically. Another helpful feature is that as prices change or products sell out, the ads will automatically adjust to reflect that.

Customer Centricity in the New Retail World

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Join us on the 17th or 18th of June for ‘Customer Centricity in the New Retail World’ our newest eCommerce webinar. Our panel of experts will share their insights and the best-in-breed strategies that will guarantee success in the post-pandemic ‘new retail’ environment. Register here.

Ads that prompt users to take a particular action, like making a purchase from a website (known as direct-response ads) have managed to continue driving revenue for social media platforms during the covid-19 pandemic. Snap has reported that this type of advertising has made up over 50% of its revenue, doubling it’s significance to the company over the past two years.

With worldwide lockdowns making eCommerce more critical than ever, Snap needs to be able to cater to the demands of online retailers. The reports from companies during beta testing have been good, with one major sports equipment retailer saying it has seen “…a 52% growth in ROAS (return on advertising spend)…” leading them to increase their investment significantly. “The launch of Dynamic Ads allows us a route to reach our target Gen Z and Millennial audiences with relevant product creative throughout the consumer journey…”.


Gap Scale-Up eCommerce to Great Success


With the closure of stores worldwide due to coronavirus restrictions, brands were forced to think outside the box to make up for lost sales. While many were already beginning to focus on eCommerce, the global pandemic accelerated efforts to improve the eCommerce experience that was already underway.

Gap, like most retailers, has expanded its online presence during the lockdown, in an effort to make up for lost brick and mortar sales. The company scaled up its eCommerce platform, as well as deciding to expand its Ohio distribution center, costing the brand $30 Million. In April, sales grew year-on-year by 40%, but then in May skyrocketed to an increase of 100%.

 “Our teams’ ability to pivot quickly and lean into our strong online business resulted in an encouraging 40% online sales growth in April,” said Sonia Syngal, president and chief executive of Gap Inc. “This online momentum, enabled by new omni-capabilities that have expanded the way customers can shop with us, leaves us well-positioned to fuel our brands going forward.”

Overall sales are still down on last year, due to the company being forced to close 90% of their stores, but the boost seen in eCommerce has likely reduced that decline significantly. However, the company remains cautious going forward. Katrina O’Connell, EVP and CFO of Gap Inc., said: “While we are pleased that store traffic and productivity is exceeding expectations, particularly at Old Navy and Athleta, we continue to plan conservatively as significant uncertainty remains ahead. We intend to lean into our best-in-class supply chain and advantaged omnichannel capabilities to respond as customer demand becomes clearer.”