More Britons prefer online shopping since pandemic
LONDON, Sept. 17 (Reuters) – Around 70% of Britons say online and mobile shopping has become their preferred method of shopping, up from less than half before the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study by the startup of Personal Finance Credit Karma.
The study, which was not previously reported, surveyed 1,034 adults in the UK in July to assess how digital spending and banking habits have changed since the start of COVID-19 restrictions.
More than half of those polled said their online purchases had increased since the start of the pandemic, and of those, more than a third said their finances had taken a hit.
“Healthy consumer spending, online or otherwise, is usually a sign of a healthy economy, which can be great for the market,” said Ziad El Baba, Managing Director UK and Canada at Credit Karma. But “online shopping can make the act of buying an item much less tangible for shoppers, making it easier for them to spend than shopping in a traditional brick-and-mortar store,” he said. he added.
COVID restrictions have benefited various areas of digital finance, such as buy now, pay later, which allow customers to split payments even for small purchases into multiple installments, the survey showed. About 60% of those surveyed said they started using Buy Now and Pay Later services during or after the pandemic.
Online investments in stocks and cryptocurrencies have also seen growth, with more than half of those surveyed saying they have started using these services during and after the pandemic.
While British adoption of online and mobile banking was already high before the COVID-19 closures, the pandemic may have accelerated the change, with 8% of respondents saying they prefer to bank in person at a branch since restrictions began, up from 19% before 2020.
Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by Cynthia Osterman
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