With many UK brick-and-mortar stores remaining closed, new data from commerce experience leader, Bloomreach, shows that retailers are closing the sales gap through their digital offerings – with online sales in the UK increasing 27% from the same time year-on-year and increasing by 23% from last week.
But despite potentially having more time on their hands, Brits are not wasting it browsing online before purchasing, with search traffic up 46% year-on-year and search sales up almost three quarters (74%) from the same time last year.
The data also highlights how UK consumers are searching online for their grocery items to check stock levels on products to help inform whether the wait at their local supermarket is worth it.
Brian Walker, Chief Strategy Officer at Bloomreach says: "Bloomreach data shows that across the board eCommerce is seeing unprecedented growth. Across segments, search, delivery and click and collect are becoming incredibly important. Everyone is a purposeful, focused shopper now. They aren’t browsing, and this – in combination with features like store pick-up – means that stores will essentially function as fulfilment nodes for the foreseeable future.
While some may argue that this change in customer shopping behaviour will end as soon as things begin to normalise, true “normalcy” is a long way off. Right now, the vast majority of physical stores are closed while others are open with major changes to the shopping experience that rely on digital and eCommerce to drive the customer experience. This way of shopping is the new normal and it’s not going to go back to the way it was before. The changes in the shopping experience are likely to be lasting ones that play out for years and this will have a meaningful impact on businesses of all kinds.
Bloomreach data shows that in the grocery category specifically, online traffic is outpacing online sales. As with past weeks, consumers are facing out-of-stocks, lack of pick and delivery slots, and they are leaning on search not only for online purchases, but also to uncover whether something is actually available in-store before they mask up and leave their homes for what is still today a treacherous experience.”