Following rising concerns surrounding a second wave of COVID and the Prime Minister’s recent announcement calling for Britons to return to work from home if they are able, supermarkets have allegedly seen surges of panic buying across the country.
This has caused a jump in demand for delivery slots, with many supermarkets being unable to cater to this. In light of these concerns, leading supermarkets have launched initiatives such as a “Food Box” plan to provide people with enough food to feed their families for five days, in which the customer will not have to wait for an available delivery slot.
While many retailers have reassured the public that they are well prepared for the second lockdown, some have already reinstated rationing on certain goods. Fluctuating demand - in particular for online deliveries – remains a logistical problem that supermarkets are struggling to cater to.
In light of this, Ubamarket, a pioneering app in retail technology, recently found that 38% of Brits have used online shopping more since lockdown, but have found it inefficient due to insufficient delivery slots and replacement items. This result is bound to cause an increase in consumer footfall among the UK's supermarkets and shops, as well as fluctuations in consumer behaviour, as they are influenced by the shoppers around them.
With shops and supermarkets playing such a central role in our lives, it is of utmost importance that the sector is able to adapt to the challenges brought by Coronavirus. Now, as the UK prepares to see a second wave of the virus, Ubamarket has conducted nationally representative research which showcases exactly that.Key stats:
• 50% of Brits found that being able to do a weekly shop at their local supermarket through COVID was vital to combating isolation in lockdown
• 50% of people in Britain (over 23 million) haven’t used cash at all since the start of lockdown and have relied exclusively on card and contactless payments
• 43% of Brits (over 20 million) want their shopping experience moving forward to require as little human interaction as possible
• 38% of Brits found that since lockdown, they have used online shopping more but have found it to be inefficient due to insufficient delivery slots and replacement items
• Over one-third (34%) of Brits say that the self-checkouts cause significant anxiety due to hygiene concerns and proximity to other shoppers
• 4 in 10 Brits will no longer use cash when shopping or when in bars or restaurants due to concerns around the transfer of germs
• 62% of Brits (28 million) want to be able to complete their supermarket shop and exit the store in under 20 minutes
Will Broome, CEO of Ubamarket, discusses the research looking into how consumer behaviour has transformed as a result of the virus, and how retailers can overcome the challenges brought about by a second wave.
He said, 'It is encouraging to see that Britain's retailers and grocers are committed to reassuring customers and ensuring that they are able to provide essential goods without disruption. However, the concerns around stockpiling are not to be taken lightly, and it is important that the public continue to shop in a considerable manner.
'Our research clearly shows how integral the supermarket is to British consumers, and the different ways they want to purchase their goods following Covid. The implementation of retail technology is one way that Britain's retailers could safeguard themselves against this fluctuating demand and irregular consumer behaviour.
'With this, supermarkets and stores can access far more in-depth and accurate consumer data, helping them to assess their behaviour, manage stock more efficiently and effectively, whilst being able to effectively communicate directly to the consumer base.
:I sincerely hope that the UK's shoppers take into account the concerns and advice from Britain's retailers, but I am also hopeful that supermarkets across the country learn from the challenges presented by the first lockdown and consider adopting technology to safeguard and strengthen their consumer offering moving forward.'
(source: https://ubamarket.com/, image: Ocado)