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UK shoppers spent 30% more online in March, compared to hight of lockdown

Online spending

UK customers spent 29.2% more on online purchases compared to March 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown, new research has revealed.

According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, the increase represented an 8.9% annualised growth over the last three years.

The research also reported, in March, 14% of all online orders were processed with Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) services, accounting for £1.2bn worth of orders.


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Average order values of BNPL purchases rose by 1% compared with February 2023.

“We’re now three years on from the first UK lockdowns, and the significant shift we saw to ecommerce in response has proved permanent,” Adobe UK vice president and managing director Suzanne Steele said.

“The cost-of-living crisis we are currently seeing continues to hit consumer wallets hard, with significant increases in grocery prices and rising bills impacting discretionary spending, causing people to turn to Buy-Now-Pay-Later services to manage the increasing costs of purchases.”

Online spending fell to £8.2 billion in March, a drop of 2.9% due to the spike in prices of essential items, Adobe said. The price of groceries increased 9.1%, compared with the same period last year, with pet products costing 13.7% more.

The research also stated shoppers spent £4.7bn using mobile devices in March, representing over 57.1% of online purchases, a 4.7% year-on-year rise.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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