[ Guest Post ] Mention Me – How consumers shop now: Q1 2021
What a quarter. It’s been a year since the UK first went into lockdown. High street icon Topshop has closed its doors for good. We’re edging towards life post-lockdown (while reminding ourselves it’s data not dates that will get us to that pub garden).
Things look, dare I say it, hopeful. But while the prospect of a family barbecue fills us with joy, things changing yet again is likely filling most retailers with anxiety. Just as you’re getting to grips with how the pandemic has changed consumer shopping behaviour, Boris’s announcement throws everything back up in the air.
After a year of shopping almost entirely online, how will consumers behave once brick-and-mortar stores reopen for good? Should brands continue to prioritise online channels, or should they reallocate budget to the in-store experience? Will pureplay online businesses see sales slump after a year of record growth?
To find out, we’ve analysed data from more than 450 brands across sectors. Here’s how consumers shopped in Q1 2021 – and how we predict they’ll shop in Q2 and beyond.
Side note: To keep things simple, our graphs show activity from the start of lockdown on 23rd March 2020 to the same date this year.
Consumer buying behaviour in 2020: a recap
Despite headlines warning of mounting debts and a looming recession, 62% of consumers feel financially better off or the same as before Covid. For those fortunate enough to have stayed in work at full pay, the lockdown has been an opportunity to save. Instead of eating out or going on holiday, consumers have treated themselves to online shopping.
According to online retail body IMRG, online sales grew by 36% in 2020 – the highest growth rate in 13 years. As well as buying from their favourite online brands, consumers recommended them to friends and family. In 2020, referrals across the five most popular sectors* peaked at 420%.
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