Britain's high streets set for revolution after birth of post-lockdown 'fusion shopper', says new research

New findings from DS Smith, a leading provider of sustainable fibre-based packaging worldwide, revealed the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry
New findings from DS Smith, a leading provider of sustainable fibre-based packaging worldwide, revealed the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry

Versatile Brits’ blended shopping habits could transform the high street forever, according to new research.

The Covid-19 pandemic has revolutionised consumers’ behaviour and as lockdown restrictions ease, research reveals the birth of the ‘fusion shopper’.

With Brits increasingly splitting their time between bricks and mortar, online and click and collect across the last 12 months – a development that’s got the industry under huge pressure to adapt to these changes.

New findings from leading sustainable packaging provider DS Smith reveal that Brits shop in store five times, online four times and use click and collect twice across an average month.

And the latter looks to be growing at a rapid rate, with over two-fifths (42 per cent) of people more likely to have turned to a click and collect service during the pandemic.

Major retailers are now under massive pressure to keep up and industry expert Stefano Rossi highlights the need for on brands to adapt.

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Rossi, Packaging CEO at DS Smith, said: “Today’s consumers aren’t choosing one way of shopping, they’re blending them all – as fusion shoppers.

“Brands now need to find a way to seamlessly blend their range of offers so consumers are happy however they choose to shop.

“Packaging is one of the ways they can do this, and our experts have been working to produce clever and innovative solutions that solve some of the key frustrations with different types of shopping and make for a better experience across the piece.”

DS Smith’s research revealed the fascinating transition has not been totally smooth, with less than one in three (29 per cent) saying online shopping is their preferred method and almost half (49 per cent) describing click and collect as the ‘worst of both worlds.’

In-store shopping remains the nation’s preferred method but even that has its issues, with well over four in ten (46 per cent) of shoppers saying they hate being in crowded stores.

DS Smith's findings reveal Brits are increasingly using different methods to consume their shopping goods
DS Smith's findings reveal Brits are increasingly using different methods to consume their shopping goods

Exactly two-fifths become irritated when stuck in a long queue, while over a third of impatient shoppers admit they will refuse to wait longer than five minutes in a line to pay.

More than two in five (43 per cent) find online shopping less stressful, with the findings also showing consumers’ frustrations about picking up items via click and collect and paying delivery charges for items online.

Fears regarding packaging and slow delivery times show Brits’ lingering concerns across the board and Rossi added: “What’s clear is shoppers aren’t getting a consistently good experience across these options.

“That is a real risk for brands and retailers as consumers may look to go elsewhere if they can’t maintain consistent standards.”

DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable fibre-based packaging worldwide, which is supported by recycling and papermaking operations. It plays a central role in the value chain across sectors including e-commerce, fast moving consumer goods and industrials.