We recently polled over 1000 UK consumers about their shopping habits, including how they thought they’d be shopping for Christmas 2020 and beyond. While it’s obvious this is far from a “normal” year, the responses also showed attitude shifts that look set to stay.
Shopping habits aren’t just influenced by cost and convenience now, people are putting a higher value on shopping local, their own health and well-being, and ethical businesses.
Health and Wellbeing
Covid-19 has put an even greater spotlight on health and wellbeing, with 71% of respondents planning to look after their health more. People also plan to be more active and to spend less time on social media.
For retailers, this means offering more health-conscious products could lure new customers into their stores. If people are walking more, this presents an opportunity to get people to shop more locally, rather than using their cars to drive out of their neighbourhoods.
Respondents showed that they are comfortable using the latest technology (55%) and many are planning to buy more products online (32%).
For local stores and their wholesalers, this is a chance to offer more online services or click and collect, especially as the mults struggle to keep up with demand in the run-up to Christmas. Convenience stores can then build up better customer databases and communicate directly with consumers.
A good database of engaged customers will help attract the 19% of consumers who say they’ll support businesses that send suggestions based on their previous purchases and experiences.
Mass marketing is off-putting and can be inefficient and ineffective. Just remember to store the data securely – trust is important, especially for local stores.
45% of those we polled are going to worry less about money and material things – a big change compared to the consumerism of the last decades. People are also planning to support local businesses more and 30% plan to support ethical businesses more.
Partnering with local suppliers who operate in an ethical way could be a great way to engage with the 42% of shoppers want to see convenience stores selling hampers made up of local foods.
84% of the people polled planned to use a convenience store in the run up to Christmas. For retailers, there are interesting stats around hybrid stores too (detailed further here), with 42% of shoppers in favour of convenience & pharmacy hybrid stores and 35% in favour of convenience & restaurant hybrids.
After all, why would they want to visit two shops when you could visit one?
And, with 30% planning to use their car less, retailers should be thinking about ways that they can attract local people to their stores with personalised communications, local produce, and ethical business practises.
Retailers and wholesalers need to be aware of trends quickly and devise strategies accordingly. Data is vital, not only to help them track and react to these trends, but also to create databases with information that will contain useful information to improve customer experiences (and push higher spends and more frequent visits).
Retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers all need to ensure they are working towards being unique and boutique. This industry works in a different space to the mults and must offer something different to differentiate itself.
And finally. Data is the channel to put great talent in. Data is the backbone of all change going forwards, and with great people in charge of using this data, it can inform and direct strategy and allow everyone to weather the current storm and take advantage of the positives.