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A third of UK retailers have launched new lockdown ‘insperiences’: study

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A third of UK retailers have launched new products or services aimed at lockdown living, a new study suggests.

Research from Barclaycard Payments found that 33% of retailers launched innovative products or services – and demand for these has encouraged brands to form cross-sector partnerships. Examples include recipe box companies working with famous chefs to deliver new food experiences to the home, alcohol and food companies teaming up for a one-stop service, or sports brands working with technology businesses to offer new digital in-home experiences. The study polled 400 senior retail decision makers between May 27 and June 2.

So far, finds the study, half of retailers who already offered such services, dubbed ‘insperiences’, are now working with other brands, and 78% are considering taking this step in the future. Some 85% of medium-sized businesses are doing so, while 92% of those who have already launched an ’insperience’ are considering doing so in future. Some 82% of multichannel retailers said they were likely to team up with another brand, while 78% of pureplays said they would. Even 60% of store-only retailers are considering doing so. 

The top five sectors most likely to team up with another brand to deliver an ‘insperience’ are department stores (92%), books and stationary (91%), food and drink, healthcare and beauty and technology and electricals businesses. Motivation for doing so includes increased brand awareness (75%), creating a new point of contact with consumers (73%), and establishing themselves as trusted partners in their sector (70%). Certainly, 39% of 2,000 shoppers polled via Opinium said they would be more likely to remember a brand following an insperience. The value of the market is put at £168m over the next year.

“Lockdown has undoubtedly been challenging for retailers, but it’s promising to see how many have been quick to cater their product lines to consumers looking for entertainment and personalised products while at home,” said Kirsty Morris, managing director of account development at Barclaycard Payments. “One of the most interesting trends we’ve uncovered is the surge in partnerships between different brands where they combine their joint skills and expertise to enhance the insperiences they provide. Cross-sector partnerships are clearly proving fruitful, and with the demand for insperiences set to stay even as lockdown restrictions ease, it’s likely we’ll see many more brands leverage this trend in the months ahead.”

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