The Impact of COVID-19 on Ecommerce in the UK

Published on October 13, 2022
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Filed under Shipping News
Read time 3 Minutes

COVID-19 has transformed the ecommerce landscape as we know it, from the shut down of brick-and-mortars to businesses offering curbside pickup in response. In light of these events, ShipStation conducted a study to track the progression of COVID-19 and its impacts on ecommerce in the United Kingdom. Our study shows a spike in overall ecommerce spending, with 51% of consumers in the UK saying they are shopping more online as a result of the pandemic.

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Online Spending Is On The Rise

Consumers in the UK report they are shopping more during the quarantine. Among some of the reasons consumers say their spending has increased, 52% say unsureness of product accessibility in-store, 47% say it’s a result of being at home more, and 27% say they have more time to shop online. Out of the consumers we surveyed, 31% of respondents expect to spend more in 2020 than in 2019.

Shipping Challenges

COVID-19 continues to disrupt the day-to-day routine for most retailers, with 57% of consumers in the UK reporting they have experienced a delivery delay or cancelation as a result. Consumers are expecting businesses to adapt during COVID-19, with 85% of consumers expecting proactive communications from the retailer if their delivery is negatively affected.

Changing Consumer Expectations 

In response to store closures and slowed deliveries, retailers have had to make adjustments to their return policies in order to maintain consumer relationships. Consumers value flexible return policies, with 45% of consumers expecting brands to provide free returns as a result. With 84% of consumers have greater respect for the challenges retailers face. 

Championing Small Businesses

In response to the crisis, our research highlights an increase in support for small-to-medium businesses. Our research shows that 68% of consumers say they’re now more aware of local and independent brands they can support, with 58% increasing their spending with those small business brands. The pros of supporting small businesses extend far beyond the crisis itself, with 76% planning to support more local and independent brands. 

These statistics are pulled from our research study. For additional findings and to download ShipStation’s full report, check out “COVID-19 UK Research Guide.”

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Written by

Breana Cooney

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