Pandemic-driven e-commerce boom ‘won’t be permanent’

68 per cent of consumers expect to spend less online after the pandemic passes, according to new research.

A survey from Lambda Test discovered that over the past 12 months the average monthly online spend has surged 198 per cent.

This time last year, the Brits were spending £384 shopping online (per month, excluding household bills and mortgage/rent payments), this amount doubled to £761 per month over the last year.

70 per cent of people whose monthly online spending has increased over the past year said that it was due to covid-19.

But the report also found that although Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce by shoppers, with a 233 per cent increase in those going online to do most of their shopping, the sharp increase is unlikely to be maintained post-pandemic.

Data from the survey shows that brands need to plan for a significant drop-off in online spending once the pandemic is over.

The research also found that 67 per cent of consumers treat online and in-store shopping differently.

Only half of respondents (55 per cent) consider themselves to be as or more loyal to brands they admire when shopping online as opposed to in store. Two thirds (65 per cent) will shop around for the best prices online, with more than half (54 per cent) saying they’ll visit four or more sites to find the best deal.

“The challenge for online retailers is about to get even greater,” said Asad Khan, LambdaTest, co-founder and chief executive. “If they’re going to hold onto their customers over the long term when competition from in-store shopping returns, retailers need to invest in their online user experience and deliver a consistently incredible online service.

Khan added: “The retailers that will flourish are those that monitor and adapt their web presence quickly and efficiently. Consumers are fickle and flooded with choice. Poor websites will drive customers away, and they don’t come back.”

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