Half of us will never return to pre-pandemic shopping habits, according to survey by Edinburgh firm

Almost half of UK consumers believe they will never return to their previous level of in-store shopping, in a blow to a high street reeling from lockdowns and coronavirus restrictions.

Shoppers pictured on Edinburgh's Princes Street during the summer. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Shoppers pictured on Edinburgh's Princes Street during the summer. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

However, the number of shoppers planning to shop more locally following the pandemic is on the rise, according to a new survey by Edinburgh software specialist Appointedd.

A poll by the online booking and customer engagement platform in June found that 25.5 per cent of people didn’t think they would return to their previous level of in-store shopping. The same question posed this month found that number rising to 46.7 per cent.

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The firm conducted the two surveys to track any changes in how the public feel about in-store shopping since living with Covid-19.

In June, 45.3 per cent of respondents claimed that following the pandemic they planned to shop more locally, and six months on that number has jumped to 64 per cent.

The latest poll, undertaken last week, also highlights that people are becoming used to some of the Covid safety measures introduced by retailers. Almost 70 per cent of shoppers want the ability to book guaranteed entry slots and virtual shopping experiences have risen in popularity from 20 per cent to almost 30 per cent.

Appointedd works with many high street shops and retailers including Liberty, SpaceNK, Mamas and Papas, Charlotte Tilbury and Furniture Village.

The firm’s founder and chief executive Leah Hutcheon said: “When we conducted the first survey shoppers and retailers were just getting to grips with social distancing and were introducing new measures to help people shop safely.

“We’ve now had six months of living with the pandemic and it’s interesting to see just how much consumers have embraced new ways to shop.”

She added: “Our Appointedd virtual and online services are now used by three times as many retailers as at the start of 2020.”

Hannah Templeman of SpaceNK added: “During the initial phase of Covid-19, we used online scheduling to offer one-on-one appointments with buffers for safe social distancing.

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“Then, when lockdown came into effect, we adapted to offer online consultations and events. The Appointedd widget has helped us to be flexible and to offer meaningful engagement with our customers.”

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