UK Shopping Habits Before, During, and After the Coronavirus Lockdown

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on July 27, 2020

Mobile-first advertising company TabMo has launched its full research study into the UK’s shopping habits; it aims to make sense of consumer behaviour both before and during the coronavirus lockdown to help brands and advertising agencies plan their short and mid-term retail marketing strategies during these exceptional times.

This report covers nine retail sectors, with examples of key findings as follows:

  • Supermarkets

70% of people continued to shop in-store during lockdown.

  • Health, Beauty & Cosmetics

73% of people who previously visited these outlets are set to return to them in person.

  • Fast Food

60% of men (aged 18-34) who visited fast food restaurants regularly pre-pandemic switched to online ordering during lockdown; this compares to 34% of females.

  • Coffee Shops

72% of pre-lockdown café visitors are likely to return to these outlets in person, with 79% of these likely to do so within a month of it being safe.

  • DIY / Homeware Stores

After supermarkets, this sector had the highest in-store visitation rate during lockdown (potentially as it was one of the first to reopen). However, 27% of frequent visitors took their business online, while 42% not visiting at all.

  • Department Stores

Before lockdown, parents were more likely to visit department stores than people without children. This sector had a low uptake of online visits during lockdown, but can expect to see 94% of footfall returning by the end of September.

  • Fashion Retailers

Pre-lockdown, 50% of people visited fashion stores in person, despite the ease of buying online, with the majority of frequent visitors shopping in person in store at least three times a month.

  • Car Showrooms

With infrequent high ticket, purchases, this sector saw the lowest churn from offline to online, indicating the importance of getting the post-lockdown in-store experience right. People often travelled to showrooms using pushbikes.

  • Luxury Fashion, Jewellery & Accessory Boutiques

68% of people visiting these stores before lockdown did so at least once a month. During lockdown, females were more likely to shop online, while males preferred the in-store experience where possible.

In terms of overall perceptions, TabMo’s research indicates that while many predict the switch to e-commerce will be permanent (with the pandemic accelerating a trend we were already seeing), the physical store will still be an essential part of the shopping experience. However, it seems likely that shopping will become less social, with a focus on buying not browsing.
Shanil Chande, head of agency sales at TabMo says: “Our remit is to work with our clients to make informed decisions that will deliver the best returns on their advertising budgets. The shifts in consumer attitude and behaviour as a result of the pandemic call for renewed insight and intelligence, which we have aimed to deliver with this in-depth research report.”

TabMo commissioned data and insights company Dynata to carry out the study. Dynata surveyed a representative sample of adults aged 18 years or older across the UK through its proprietary online research panel. A total of 500 interviews were carried out between 5th and 11th June 2020.

About TabMo

Headquartered in Paris and with offices across Europe and in the US, TabMo’s proprietary platform, HAWK, enables advertisers to execute multi-channel strategies across mobile, audio, digital out-of-home (DOOH) and connected TV (CTV).

Using a wealth of Device ID data to power and execute these strategies, TabMo’s unique proposition is perfectly placed to help retailers recover from the coronavirus lockdown and connect brands with relevant consumers whether they are looking to generate site traffic, undertake brand-building exercises or encourage users back into their stores.

TabMo is able to create bespoke end-to-end strategies for each advertiser and campaign using four key components – Data, Location, Channel and Creative – ensuring that the most relevant users are reached in the most relevant locations with the most engaging formats regardless of the media they are consuming. Using these core components allows TabMo to create strategies that transcend formerly siloed media environments and create greater efficiencies in the process. TabMo is also able to attribute the effectiveness of these strategies in a number of ways including being able to track footfall uplift to stores in real-time through its new and exclusive product, In-Store Impact.

About Dynata

Dynata is the world’s largest first-party data and insights platform. With a reach that encompasses 60+ million consumers and business professionals globally, and an extensive library of individual profile attributes collected through surveys, Dynata is the cornerstone for precise, trustworthy quality data. The company has built innovative data services and solutions around its robust first-party data offering to bring the voice of the customer to the entire marketing continuum – from strategy, innovation, and branding to advertising, measurement, and optimization. Dynata serves nearly 6,000 market research, media and advertising agencies, publishers, consulting and investment firms and corporate customers in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Learn more at

For more information, please contact:
Kate Alexander
PR consultant
Tel: +44 (0)7788 584413