Entersekt has released results of its State of Online Shopping Report that examined the shopping habits of 1000 UK consumers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Carried out by Censuswide and completed on the 6th November 2020, the study looked at consumers’ shopping behaviours, priorities when shopping online, how they make their decisions on where to shop online as well as their attitudes towards security and fraud.
The report gives retailers and Financial Institutions important insights into how people plan to shop in the UK throughout the holiday shopping period.
Shopping habits since COVID-19
The report shows that over a quarter (26%) of us are shopping less in-store and 29% are using less cash since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the 55+ year demographic, 38% are using less cash than before. Interestingly, a further 26% claimed that the pandemic had not impacted the way they shop at all. And a further 14% said that they would no longer visit a physical store to take advantage of the Black Friday deals. The 35-44 year olds were the least likely to visit a store, with nearly one in five claiming they would no longer be visiting physical stores during the Black Friday sales.
Furthermore, 15% of consumers said that they were shopping more on their mobile phone, with 19% of the 35-44 age group using their mobiles more, and more women than men shopping via their devices (18% vs 12%). Of those that reported using their mobile phone more, 21% also said they clicked on links in articles, Facebook or Instagram ads or in email marketing campaigns.
- 10% have enjoyed supporting local and small businesses that have launched e-commerce sites for the first time. 35-44 year olds are most likely to say this with 17%.
- 7% have made more impulsive purchases since lockdown out of stress or boredom – 14% of which were 16-24 year olds.
- 19% are taking more time to find the best deals online since the pandemic, with 23% of females vs 16% of males claiming to be more deal savvy.
- 38% of 55+ use less cash than before the pandemic.
- More than 1 in 10 are more concerned now about fraud and identity theft than before the pandemic and the same number (11%) feel that security has grown in importance to them when shopping online.
Deciding where to shop online
When respondents were asked how they mainly decided to shop online, 42% said they used an online marketplace like Amazon, Gumtree, eBay etc. In fact, over half (51%) of the over 55s use online marketplaces while one-third of 16-24 year olds prefer to go directly to the website they know they want to buy from. And 24% of 25-34 year olds prefer to Google search what they are looking for and choose the safest looking option. Women and those between the ages of 45-54 are more likely to Google what they are looking for and choose the cheapest option, while men and 25-34 year olds are the most likely to click on links in articles.
- More women than men are likely to click on a Facebook or Instagram ad (10% vs 7%).
- 34% say they go straight to the website they know they want to buy from.
- 16-24 years olds are more than twice as likely as the average of 9% to click on Facebook or Instagram ads that interest them at 19%, while only 4% of the over 45s say they do this.
- More than 1 in 5 people (21%) will click on ads in Facebook or Instagram, click links in articles or click links in email marketing campaigns when deciding to buy goods.
Unexpected security measures applied at checkout
The report also found that while 31% felt safer and that their bank was looking out for them when unexpected security measures were added during an online checkout, 25% felt annoyed, suspicious or confused. This number grows to 44% when looking at the 16-24-year-old demographic, who may perhaps feel less patient with security controls. In fact, 21% of 16-24 year olds said they had abandoned a shopping cart completely due to authentication issues, which is significantly higher than the overall average of 13% of consumers.
Most important aspect of an online checkout experience
When asked what the most important aspect of an online checkout experience is, 42% said security, 25% said the ability to use a digital wallet such as PayPal and 20% said convenience and speed of checkout. In-keeping with previous findings, the younger demographic appeared to prioritise convenience and speed (22%), while for half (50%) of 55+ year olds, security was the most significant aspect of an online checkout experience. Interestingly, women valued being able to use a digital wallet more than men (27% versus 23%) and convenience and speed was a bigger concern for men (21%) than women (18%).
- For 1/3 of the 35-44 year olds, being able to shop with a digital wallet like PayPal was the most important.
- 13% said nothing was the most important when considering their online checkout experience
On security and fraud
Other research findings concluded that almost 1 in 5 consumers have been or know someone that has been a victim of fraud and 55+ year olds are the most concerned about fraud when shopping online. When digging a little deeper and looking at those people who said they value security the most at checkout, only 6.5% check the website for SSL AND use a password manager. Nearly a quarter (23%) said they always check the website for the lock icon; however, only 19% of 16-24 year olds said they do this. The 55+ year olds are the best at using password managers, with nearly 1 in 5 saying they use one and more men than women claimed they used a password manager (17% vs 9%).
- 11% store their passwords in their browser for convenience.
- 16-24 year olds twice as likely to store passwords in their browser (22%).
- 30% felt confident they could spot a phishing email – men were more confident than women (37% vs 24%).
The full report can be downloaded here: https://www.entersekt.com/resources/white-papers/state-of-online-shopping-2020