Face covering and online shopping

Will Mandatory Face Coverings in Shops Turn Consumers Back to Online Shopping?

With the recent change in policy over wearing face coverings in shops in England, are consumers likely to turn back to online shopping?

From 24th July it will now be mandatory for everyone to wear a face-covering in shops and supermarkets in England, which brings England in line with similar policies already in place in Scotland, with Wales and Northern Ireland continuing to monitor the situation.

However, since the change in policy was announced earlier this week, many people have begun to speculate that this new policy could lead to a second and possibly continued increase in online shopping.

For many people wearing a face-covering doesn’t come naturally, especially in the UK where face coverings have not been a part of our culture. Because of this, there is speculation that people will try to minimise their time in physical shops to limit the amount of time spent wearing a face covering. Especially when the same outcome can be achieved from the comfort of your own home, without wearing a face covering or having to come into contact with anybody.

Then add on the fact that the novelty of going to the shops as lockdown measures are eased is starting to wear off. Consumers could be changing their shopping habits for good, or at least for the foreseeable future.

Furthermore, we had already reported earlier this month that a report by Alvarez & Marsal and Retail Economics*, estimates that 17.2 million British consumers, that’s 25% of the population, plan to make permanent changes to the way they shop by making the switch from physical store to online.

Additionally, the same study also estimated that alongside the ‘early adopters’, the new group of online shoppers have triggered online retail sales in the UK to increase by an additional £4.5 billion in 2020 and that is despite many consumers cutting back on all non-food purchases.

Combine all of this together and it could mean great things for online business.


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* https://www.alvarezandmarsal.com/insights/172-million1-uk-consumers-expected-make-permanent-changes-their-shopping-habits

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