Study highlights changing role of retail and unique nature of 2020 festive season

Over a third (36%) of Brits will do all, or at the very least most, of their Christmas shopping during November’s lockdown period, new research by LiveArea has found. Only 10% said they wouldn’t do any Christmas shopping during the period. 18-34-year olds are the most eager, with 88% planning to do Christmas shopping over November.

Coronavirus hits Christmas budgets

Over a quarter (27%) of UK consumers expect to spend less this year on Christmas, compared to previous years. This is particularly true for 35-54-year olds, where the number almost reaches (30%).  There is some positive news, with 17% planning to spend more this year with lockdown helping them to save. The price of items (38%) will be the priority for consumer during the period, with reliable deliveries (24%) coming next.

Websites the biggest barrier to lockdown sales

Buffering or malfunctioning websites (90%) are the biggest turnoffs for consumers. Indeed, 57% would be strongly put off making a purchase if they had any website issues. Next in the list of issues undermining sales is delayed deliveries (36%), followed by any lack of communication during delivery (34%). At the other end of the scale was low stock levels, which put off 21% of consumers.

Retail loyalty dissipates in lockdown

Over two-thirds (67%) of UK consumers intend to shop with new brands during lockdown, rising to three-quarters (75%) for 18-34-year olds. With stores closed, consumers are clearly looking further afield for retail purchases. Conversely, only 33% intend to stick with tried and tested brands throughout lockdown.


“It is now undeniable – price, online experience and delivery are, and will remain, the most important consumer purchasing factors. The second lockdown has proven that the high-street is simply not necessary for retail businesses to flourish,” said Elliott Jacobs, EMEA commerce consulting eirector at LiveArea.

‘The key to navigating the market is adaptability – all businesses need the ability to understand consumer changes and react instantly. Habits are changing at an unprecedented rate, a trend which will not change any time soon. Retailers can only flourish if they embrace digital and the benefits that come with it,’ continued Jacobs.