Lockdown legacies that are here to stay

New research from Barclaycard Payments, which processes nearly £1 in every £3 spent in the UK, reveals the trends that are set to outlive the pandemic.

With increased time at home, there have been significant changes in the way people consume goods, including what they buy, the channels that they buy through and how they like to pay.

Kirsty Morris, Managing Director at Barclaycard Payments, said: “A year of on-and-off lockdown restrictions have accelerated many retail trends and created some new, unexpected ones. We can’t wait for the pandemic to be over, but in many ways it’ll be here forever through the consumer habits it has helped shape.”

Staying local

One major positive from the past year is the support people have showed for local and independent businesses, with almost two thirds (64%) of Brits choosing to shop closer to home. Barclaycard Payments data shows shoppers spent an extra 63.3% in February at food and drink specialist stores compared with the same month last year. Shopping locally is set to be a lockdown legacy, with nine in ten Brits who have been shopping locally throughout the pandemic saying they will keep doing this to support smaller and independent businesses even after all restrictions end.

Home deliveries

Consumers have been receiving an average of two extra deliveries per month since March 2020 (seven parcels now versus five before March 2020). This equates to over 86 packages in total over the course of a year. This growth in deliveries is here to stay, with over half of people expecting to receive either the same amount (47%) or more (10%) in the future.

Click & collect

One in three consumers say they have used ‘Click and Collect’ more frequently since the start of the pandemic. On average, shoppers now use the service three times per month compared to twice a month in 2019. Almost all (90%) of those who have been using Click and Collect more often since the start of the pandemic will keep this up once all restrictions have been lifted.

Mobile payments

Lockdowns have changed not only what we buy and where we buy it, but also how we pay for our purchases, with mobile payments growing substantially in the past year. In fact, Barclays consumer debit data reveals that Apple Pay grew rapidly in 2020 compared to 2019, in particular in Leisure & Entertainment, where online debit transactions increased by 70%. With ‘digital wallets’ and mobile payment services soaring, physical wallets are becoming less popular. Three in ten consumers and over half of 25-34s (55%) say they now regularly leave their wallet or purse behind because all they need is their mobile phone.

Mindful spending

Nearly three quarters of people (71%) now think more carefully about how they spend their money. People are doing more research to ensure the products they buy are made ethically (46%), with 88% planning to continue this shift in behaviour after lockdown ends. Retailers can take advantage of this by highlighting their ‘mindful’ credentials, nudging more consumers to make a purchase.

Technology

Encouragingly, Barclaycard Payments’ research with retailers shows that small and medium sized businesses are responding to this new landscape, with nearly three in ten (29%) planning to invest in new equipment and technology in 2021, and 13% viewing technology as the top opportunity for growth over the next year.

Read more articles from our latest issue...