Next and M&S show that consumer behaviour isn’t set in stone

Stephan ShakespeareCEO and Co-Founder
July 01, 2020, 9:54 AM UTC

Non-essential shops reopened on June 15 and most leisure attractions are due to reopen on July 4, indicating a return to some resemblance of normality. There were long queues when high street favourites like Primark reopened, but have 12 weeks of lockdown changed the shopping habits of Brits?

New YouGov data suggests that after months of being unable to shop in person, Brits are now making up for lost time. BrandIndex Purchase Intent scores (whether a brand is someone’s first choice to purchase from) show that since shops have reopened, there has been a change in behaviour in that more Brits are choosing to shop exclusively offline.

A snap poll released in early June showed that six in ten (61%) Brits supported shops reopening and four in ten (40%) were comfortable visiting indoor shopping centres once they reopened, proving that a significant amount of shoppers had no intention of staying away.

Purchase Intent scores for longstanding high-street retailer Next show that the amount of those who would usually choose to do their clothes and shoe shopping entirely online at Next.co.uk have been decreasing since the start of June, dropping ten points from 18.3 to 8.2. The opposite of this, shoppers who prefer to purchase their clothes and shoe shopping entirely in person and favour Next, has increased by ten points since June 12 from 9.5 to 19.9 clearly demonstrating the marked change in consumer behaviour.

Obviously this isn’t the first time change COVID-19 has had on consumer behaviour; at the start of lockdown Next’s Purchase Intent scores among online shoppers soared over ten points from 9.3 to 20.6 in response to the closing of shops. What we are seeing now however is consumer behaviour changing while there is more than one option available.

A similar story can be seen with similar high street staple M&S whose Purchase Intent scores for online shoppers decreased ten points (26.8 to 16.6) while simultaneously increasing 16 points for those who prefer to shop in person (18 to 34.5).

Lockdown has shown that consumer behaviour isn’t set in stone and many will just adapt their habits to the shopping environment they find themselves in. Given almost half of Brits plan to spend the same as they did before lockdown once shops reopen (47%), retailers can take some comfort in the knowledge that Brit’s appetite for shopping hasn’t completely disappeared.

Image: Getty

This article previously appeared in City A.M.