Staying local…mindful spending…come to me retail – the lockdown habits shoppers say they will keep


Some of the new shopping habits acquired during lockdown are likely to persist well beyond the pandemic, a new UK consumer survey suggests. 

The survey carried out by Barclaycard highlights 10 so-called ‘lockdown legacies’, which the company says reveals “shifts in consumer behaviour that retailers need to be aware of”. Some of these should provide an advantage to nimble independent retailers, including health food and wholefood retailers. 

Among the new shopping habits that look set to stay are: 

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 per cent) of Brits choosing to shop closer to home. Barclaycard’s survey shows that shoppers spent an extra 63.3% in February at food and drink specialist stores, such as butchers, bakeries and greengrocers, compared with the same month last year. Shopping locally is set to be a lockdown legacy, with nine in ten (91 per cent) 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.

More mindful spending
Nearly three quarters of people (71%) now think more carefully about how they spend their money and nine in ten (92%) of those who do, plan to continue being more mindful of their spending habits even after lockdown lifts. The additional time people have had on their hands has meant they 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. Barclaycard says retailers can take advantage of this by highlighting their ‘mindful’ credentials; nudging more consumers to make a purchase.

Growth in home deliveries
Home deliveries have been booming throughout lockdown, and natural and organic retailers were quick to take advantage of the trend. Whereas in the early stages of the pandemic delivery services were a survival mechanism, they are now seen as an opportunity by independents to expand engagement in their communities. Barclaycard says  the 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’ boom
One in three (30%) 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 per cent) 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.