Online retail reached 30% of all retail sales in the UK in April 2020 as consumers switched to eCommerce during lockdown.
According to the latest monthly retail report from the UK Office for National Statistics, 30% of all retail purchases in the UK were made online during April. That’s a jump of over 8% from March and the highest ever recorded.
The year-on-year growth of online consumer sales has usually been between 1-2%, but lockdown has created a massive leap with April 2020 8.6% higher than highest in 2019.
Traditionally, November is the month when consumers spend a larger share of their money online than in physical stores. This is partly due to Christmas shopping and, in recent years, Black Friday sales. But, even with the Black Friday boost, the highest percentage of retail purchases made online in previous years was only was 21.6% (Nov 2018).
Consumers have been increasingly favouring eCommerce for years, but lockdown has forced people to shift to the convenience of online shopping. As a result, those businesses that had reliable eCommerce & fulfilment in place (or were able to adapt quickly), could take advantage of this sudden shift in consumer purchasing patterns.
While some areas of retailers struggled, other areas saw considerable growth during lockdown. Garden furniture & pet food were particularly in demand. The volume of toys sold dropped but, at the same time, the value of each purchase jumped up by about 39% from an average of £8.41 to £11.46 per purchase. Toy Shops that were equipped with good eCommerce, fulfilment & the marketing to reach customers were able to serve their customers effectively and benefit from the situation.
Of course, this massive jump in online retail is a result of Lockdown but, once consumers change their behaviour, they are unlikely to rush back to their old ways when some form of normality returns. Offering your customers the choice of buying online is now an essential for any retail business that wants to serve their customers effectively.
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