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Will online retail surge continue?
11th May 2021

By Karen Pickwick

A new survey reveals that, while online spending surged in the 12 months after the start of the first covid-19 lockdown, any suggestion that the pandemic has transformed forever the way consumers will shop is based on ‘hope rather than fact’.
 
Asad Khan, LambdaTest co-founder and CEO, said: “Retailers with an online presence have been riding an incredible wave over the last year. They’ve overcome some enormous challenges to make their online presences as great as possible in extraordinary, tough circumstances.”
 
However, these sharp increases are unlikely to be maintained post-pandemic, he says, signalling that the ‘covid-19 effect’ on online shopping is more temporary than first thought. Data from the survey shows that brands need to plan for a significant drop-off in online spending once the pandemic is over.

There has been a 233% rise in the number of people using the internet to do most of their shopping over the 12 months (up 33% to 77%) with the average monthly online spend rising by 198%. This time last year, the Brits were spending £384 shopping online (per month, excluding household bills and mortgage/rent payments). This amount doubled to £761 a month over the last year.

CHALLENGE
 
But, while 70% of people whose monthly online spending has increased in the last year put it down to covid-19, 68% say they will spend less online after the pandemic passes.
 
Asad added: “The challenge for online retailers is about to get even greater. If they’re going to hold on to their customers over the long term when competition from in-store shopping returns, retailers need to invest in their online user experience and deliver a consistently incredible online service

“The retailers that will flourish are those that monitor and adapt their web presence quickly and efficiently. Consumers are fickle and flooded with choice. Poor websites will drive customers away – and they don’t come back.”
 
More than half of respondents (51%) said that a poor online shopping experience would stop them from using that website again in the future. The biggest pain point for three in five online shoppers (63%) was not being able to speak to customer service representatives.
 
LOYAL

Asad concluded: “A common mistake made by retailers that build online shopping portals is to think that consumers treat online and in-store shopping the same. Our data shows this isn’t the case among two thirds of consumers (67%). The best retailers won’t treat their online offer as a basic extension of what’s available in-store, but instead will create the best possible online shopping experience that consumers want to return to time after time.”

Only half of respondents (55%) consider themselves to be as or more loyal to brands they admire when shopping online as opposed to in store. Two thirds (65%) will shop around for the best prices online, with more than half (54%) saying they will visit four or more sites to find the best deal.
 
LambdaTest’s cloud-based web testing platform helps users to continually test the quality of websites and web apps around the world on more than 2,000 browsers and operating systems, all in real time. Tests detect issues and bugs that clients can subsequently resolve within hours, ensuring that their digital platforms can deliver at an optimal speed and quality whatever the browser or device.
 
Since launching in 2018, LambdaTest has run more than 12 million tests for 420,000 users in 132 different countries.