Priorities have shifted as lockdown measures ease. Shoppers are still purchasing DIY equipment and gardening products but demand here is starting to return to normal levels, whilst spend on clothing and footwear, makeup and food and drink continues to grow. For food and drink, 44 per cent bought online in June 2020 compared to 28 per cent over a three-month period in 2019*.
With 33 per cent of those surveyed seeing a decrease in their income, free delivery is seen as a top priority. Being kept informed on delivery progress is also important.
Royal Mail continues to lead the market in terms of awareness and preference. Postmen and postwomen are considered the most trustworthy delivery carriers. 76 per cent of online shoppers trust Royal Mail to deliver more than anyone else. In uncertain times a familiar, reliable service matters.
To help cope with the significant increase in demand, Royal Mail has recently signed a deal with Beumer Group, a leading global supplier of automated parcel and post distribution systems, to design and build the automated parcel sorting system for its new fully automated North West parcel hub in Warrington. Analysts predict that even as lockdown lifts online sales will continue to account for a significant proportion of sales. The Warrington parcel hub is ideally-situated for the warehousing and fulfilment centres of major online retailers to support the growing demand for next day delivery and the delivery of larger items.
Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail, said “COVID-19 and lockdown have driven major changes in consumer habits, including the way we shop. As lockdown begins to ease our research shows that online spend is still increasing but the mix of items bought continues to change as we all adjust to the new normal. Online ordering and home delivery of clothing, makeup, food and drink look set to stay as the one off or more occasional DIY and gardening purchases move back towards normal levels. As people continue to shop more online, at Royal Mail we continue to deliver the trusted and quality service they expect. Royal Mail has played a key role in keeping the UK economy going during the COVID-19 crisis. The research highlights that our postmen and postwomen are trusted to deliver more than anyone else, especially in these challenging times.”
Source: Royal Mail