UK Shopping Habits Before, During and After the Coronavirus Lockdown

TabMo research offers insight into post-pandemic consumer behaviour for food-related retailers

Mobile-first advertising company TabMo has launched a comprehensive research report looking at consumer behaviour before and during the lockdown.  The study aims to help brands and advertising agencies plan their short and mid-term retail marketing strategies during these exceptional times.

UK Shopping Habits Before, During and After the Coronavirus Lockdown provides the following key insight for food and drink related categories:

  • Supermarkets: no substitute for in-store

In-store shopping has and will continue to be the primary purchase method for this sector with 90% of those surveyed stating that they visited supermarkets in person regularly before the lockdown.  70% of these continued to do so during lockdown, with 25% opting to shop online and 5% not purchasing from supermarkets at all.  85% expected to return to their former shopping behaviours once restrictions eased.

This was the only sector in the study deemed to ‘essential’ by the Government, thereby remaining open throughout lockdown.

  • Fast Food: fast footfall return

While food delivery websites and apps have further fuelled the convenience of quick-serve restaurants over the past few years, 52% of people surveyed still visited fast food outlets in person pre-lockdown. Males aged 18-34 and people not in a relationship were most likely to visit regularly.

Since lockdown, 36% of previously frequent visitors opted to buy fast food online, while 35% didn’t buy from this sector at all (potentially honing their culinary skills), leaving just 29% of users continuing to purchase in person or via takeaways.

However, 70% of users surveyed said they were somewhat or very likely to return to visiting fast food outlets in person once it is safe to do so.

  • Coffee Shops: caffeine rituals to resume

The coffee shop visit being a staple pre-work ritual, 59% of people surveyed visited these outlets regularly pre-lockdown. However, potentially because many outlets were closed, 64% of these regular customers said they did not visit during lockdown and, perhaps unsurprisingly, were unlikely to buy coffee online – although 8% of users said they did use this option.

However, 72% of pre-lockdown café visitors are likely to return to these outlets in person, with 79% of these likely to do so within a month of it being safe.

Shanil Chande, head of agency sales at TabMo says: “Our remit is to work with our clients to make informed decisions that will deliver the best returns on their advertising budgets.  The shifts in consumer attitude and behaviour as a result of the pandemic call for renewed insight and intelligence, which we have aimed to deliver with this in-depth research report.”

UK Shopping Habits Before, During and After the Coronavirus Lockdown covers nine sectors in total: Health, Beauty & Cosmetics; DIY / Homeware Stores; Department Stores; Fashion Retailers; Car Showrooms; and Luxury Fashion, Jewellry & Accessory Boutiques.  It is available to download here.

TabMo commissioned data and insights company Dynata to carry out the study. Dynata surveyed a representative sample of adults aged 18 years or older across the UK through its proprietary online research panel. A total of 500 interviews were carried out between 5th and 11th June 2020.

Source: TabMo 

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