Retail 2020: What shoppers want – edition 1

Author Maybe*

This report produced by Maybe* in June 2020 focuses on findings from an online survey conducted with 20,000 people across the UK about plans to return to shops, and feelings about shopping on the high street again. It also covers key trends in social media usage by businesses before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as providing advice about more effectively engaging with customers via social media. Findings are broken down by nation and region.

Date added 28 July 2020
Last updated 28 July 2020

This report produced by Maybe* in June 2020 focuses on findings from an online survey conducted with 20,000 people across the UK about plans to return to shops, and feelings about shopping on the high street again. It also covers key trends in social media usage by businesses before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as providing advice about more effectively engaging with customers via social media. It breaks findings down by nation and region, including more detailed results from: East of England, Greater London, Midlands, North West, North East, Northern Ireland, South East, South West, Yorkshire and Humber, Wales, and Scotland. The survey is planned to be repeated on a regular basis to take a longitudinal approach and track consumer trends over time, as the pandemic and high street landscape shifts.

Some key findings

  • Pre COVID-19, 43% of independent businesses were active daily on social media. This has dropped to just 5% during the pandemic.
  • Pre COVID-19, 68% of national businesses were active daily on social media. This has dropped to just 26% during the pandemic.
  • 47% of people surveyed felt nervous about offline shopping again.
  • In large towns and cities, 54% of people believed they would now visit these centres less often than pre-pandemic. This was higher than in other places.
  • Perhaps indicating some pent-up demand, 7.5% of people planned to shop more on the high street than previously.
  • 35% of people plan to shop more online in the future than pre-pandemic.
  • Restaurants and cafes were the places missed most by those surveyed at 42%.

Some key recommendations

  • Businesses should use social media to provide reassurance to customers.
  • The survey indicated customers want to feel safe before they return to shops. Social distancing and other health and safety measures should be taken seriously in retail interventions.
  • Businesses should utilise social media to show customers the changes they’ve made to ensure their safety.