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Demand for concierge style delivery services to flourish post-pandemic

Gaelle Walker
23 March 2021

Fashion and footwear brands offering “come to me” retail services stand to secure a far larger share of post-pandemic online sales, with consumer appetite for the service set to boom, a new report by Barclaycard Payments suggests.

“Come to me” retail services (where delivery drivers wait for customers to try items on, before taking back any unwanted goods) have been used by 9% of consumers since the start of the pandemic, with 94% of customers planning to use them again and 34% of all shoppers saying they would be more inclined to buy from brands which offered the service going forward, the report said.

Compiled in partnership with Futurist Tom Cheesewright, the report also highlighted a number of other key shifts in consumer behaviour expected to accelerate following the UK’s exit from lockdown.

With UK consumers currently receiving an average of seven parcels a month – up from five a year ago, demand for online deliveries and ‘Click and Collect’ services is also expected to continue gaining momentum.

In addition, with 30% of all consumers now “regularly” leaving their wallets at home, mobile payments look set for further growth.

Increasingly mindful shoppers are also expected to prompt further demand for ethically made products, with 46% of consumers now actively seeking out more ethical products and 88% planning to continue this shift in behaviour after lockdown ends.

Shopping locally is also expected to become a key “lockdown legacy,” with 91% of Brits who have been shopping locally throughout the pandemic saying they will continue to do so in a bid to support smaller and independent businesses, the report said.

“Encouragingly,” small and medium sized businesses appeared to be responding to the new landscape, with 29% planning to invest in new equipment and technology in 2021 and 13% viewing technology as the top opportunity for growth over the next year, it added.

Commenting on the findings, Cheesewright said: “Echoes of this pandemic will be heard long after lockdown is lifted through a sustained shift in our buying behaviours.

“The trend towards online and concierge services looks set to continue, with shoppers seeking ever greater convenience and clawing back time to spend elsewhere.

“Retailers that can strip friction from their sales process while making us feel special will continue to succeed.

“Meanwhile, we continue to seek a greater connection with our local community, going against the all-digital trend. Suburban stores that have survived lockdown look set to thrive when it lifts.”

Barclaycard Payments managing director Kirsty Morris added: “A year of on-and-off lockdown restrictions have accelerated many retail trends and created some new, unexpected ones.

“Retailers need to respond to these trends. Now more than ever, Brits expect shopping to be convenient, quick and good value-for-money.

"For merchants this means investing in e-commerce offerings and payments infrastructures to accommodate more customer-focused shopping experiences.”

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