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From Asos and Topps Tiles to Watches of Switzerland on how customer behaviour is evolving

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting on what retailers from Asos to Topps Tiles and Watches of Switzerland have said this week about the way that customer behaviour is changing as the UK emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown. 

All cater to very different groups of customers and have different experiences to share as a result. Watches of Switzerland has seen online sales soar during and following lockdown, but says its stores are now seeing more visitors. One interesting finding from its figures is that shoppers are now happy to return to regional shops, but with the drop in tourism and air travel, its London shops are hit harder.

Location is less of an issue for Topps Tiles sales to DIYers, who tend to use its products in their homes. Topps says that ecommerce sales remain higher than they were previously – but its store sales are now recovering as well. Its commercial and trade arms, however, are recovering more slowly.

Asos says its customers bought more in lockdown – and also appear to be returning fewer of the items they buy than previously. It puts that down to the kind of things shoppers bought – more casual clothing and beauty products – but it all says it’s seeing evidence of a more deliberate approach to buying that seems to mean returns are less likely.

But all are reporting higher levels of sales than expected. There’ll be hope that this means retail output can recover from the GDP decline reported this week. Retail fared yet worse than the national fall of 20.4% in the second quarter, reported this week – but there are hopeful signs of recovery. 

Lidl UK is now testing the Lidl Plus app in the UK. We take a look at how it aims to learn more about its customers by doing so. 

Today’s guest comment stays on that theme as Omer Artun of Acquia argues that when developing a digital strategy, it’s critical that businesses prioritise personalisation

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