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New survey reveals a quarter of Inverness shoppers have been let down by an online order during Covid-19 crisis

By Amanda Scott

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Brightpearl chief executive Derek O'Carroll
Brightpearl chief executive Derek O'Carroll

A quarter of shoppers in Inverness (25%) have been let down by an online order since the start of the Covid crisis, according to a new survey.

More than a third of shoppers (36%) in the city said that online deliveries were taking longer to arrive in the pandemic.

And 34% of consumers say that unreliable delivery has lessened their trust in online shopping since the start of the pandemic.

The survey of 2,000 consumers from Brightpearl, which provides digital operations solutions for some of the world’s biggest retail brands, showed a huge shift to online shopping since the start of the crisis which is likely to accelerate in 2021 with new restrictions in place for the next six months.

However, while increasing numbers of shoppers are switching to online, there is a ‘crisis of confidence’ in some consumers over the reliability of many retailers’ online deliveries.

Brightpearl found that half of shoppers (49%) had re-evaluated their spending since the crisis started, resulting in them becoming less materialistic.

Pre-Covid a third of shoppers (31%) were regularly purchasing online and this figure has shot up to 48% since the crisis started.

Some 43% of consumers are now buying things online more than normal, with 65% expected to increase online purchasing in 2021.

Despite the increases in online shopping habits, almost two-thirds of shoppers (63%) say they will need to be ‘very careful’ with their money over the next year and 40% have already cut down on ‘frivolous’ spending.

One of the main shifts in spending habits since Covid has been the switch to more local retailers and a move away from chains.

Nearly two-thirds of consumers (63%) say they will shop more locally over the next year and 60% say they will buy from independent retailers.

Amazon still dominates online, and is set to be an even bigger winner over the next twelve months with 55% of consumers saying they will use it more in 2021 but 30% of shoppers say they do feel ‘guilty’ about abandoning physical stores for the ease of Amazon.

Brightpearl also uncovered some surprising new data about the buying experience for most consumers, with only 7% being influenced by how well the website functions, and just 5% of shoppers caring about the brand name.

The survey revealed that 41% of shoppers also plan to increase their Click & Collect use next year as a result of Covid.

Almost half of shoppers (45%) are now buying things online that they only previously bought in-store and 40% of buyers are less likely to shop in-store than they were before Covid.

Brightpearl CEO Derek O’Carroll said: “There has been a big shift to online post-Covid but concern over delivery reliability in Inverness has created a crisis of confidence in some consumers and brands could still suffer or miss out on this digital opportunity if they don’t improve service, especially after the buy button.

“Over the next year, online brands in Scotland are going to have to up their game and make online deliveries faster, more reliable and flexible. Shoppers want more choice in their delivery options, whether that’s same-next day delivery, or Click & Collect. The survey highlighted some surprising findings. As brands, we obsess about how the website looks and feels, but it’s really only important to a small group of shoppers.”

Brightpearl has distilled the data into a new report on the habits, categories and spending of shoppers over the next 12 months here.

Bristol-based Brightpearl works with thousands of retailers introducing software that puts orders, inventory, financials, POS (point of sale) and CRM (customer relationship management) in one place.

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