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Brief Published: 13 May 2020

Covid-19 UK E-Spending Habits Revealed: Home & Kids Boom

A woman shopping online

Confirming consumers’ willingness to adjust to life under lockdown, the UK e-commerce spend on homes and gardens, children’s products and leisure and wellness all rose in the first month under social-distancing guidelines, new data from Swedish payments solution provider Klarna reveals.

Spending in the home and garden sector rose steadily until mid-April when it tailed off, which Klarna attributed to a break in an unseasonably warm and sunny spring. However, spend is still above average. Gen Z spending in the category saw the biggest uptick, with a 262% rise compared to the previous month.  

Unsurprisingly, children’s products saw a spike at the beginning lockdown as parents took on home schooling and entertaining their children, with a drop off in activity later in the month, although the sector is still above average spend. See also the section Teaching Assistants: Parental Support in Brand Initiatives for Life Interrupted

The health and beauty, leisure, sport and hobby sectors experienced a less pronounced but still sustained boost, with sales much the same at the end of April as they were at the end of March. Millennial and Gen X spending led rises in the leisure, sport and hobby category, recording rises of 68% and 62% respectively.

Stuck indoors, clothes and shoes took a dip with consumers spending 15% less than during the previous month on both categories, as the UK took the first tentative steps towards lockdown between March 9 and 16. Since entering lockdown on March 23, spend in the category has decreased steadily. Gen Z were the slowest to reduce spending on clothes and shoes while baby boomers were the quickest: their spend on clothes decreased 30% between March 9 and April 20.

For more on maximising e-commerce opportunities during lockdown, see Covid-19: Inventive E-Commerce Reactions, Covid-19 & Beyond: Leveraging Live-Stream Commerce and Covid-19 E-Comm Lessons: Tone, Timing & Touchpoints for Extra Traction, publishing on May 14.