Non-essential online shopping is “no longer a sin” according to delivery specialist ParcelHero as big-name brands continue to reopen their ecommerce operations.
ParcelHero’s head of consumer research David Jinks said his company had seen “green shoots” of a revival of online retail after almost all non-essential stores closed down completely.
“Many retailers of all sizes, from fashion giants to the smallest traders, closed the door on their online operations as well as their physical stores when lockdown was imposed on the evening of the 23rd March,” Jinks said.
“The feeling was that home delivery services should be freed up for essential deliveries of items such as masks, hand gels and groceries. There was also concern that retailers and distribution centres would be unable to operate safely.”
This week the UK government published an open letter to retailers stating that non-essential online retail was “encouraged” as long as strict safety measures were enforced to keep staff safe.
Now a raft of both major high street retailers like Next, Dunelm, Schuh, Fenwick and Quiz have all announced the relaunch of their online operations.
“The feeling that it is somehow ‘wrong’ to order non-essential products has eased,” Jinks continued.
“As the emphasis on essential deliveries dies away, we’ve seen shipments of DIY tools, musical instruments, games and craft products rise rapidly in the last few days.
“Clearly, shoppers now feel less guilty about ordering products to help them fill furlough time without hindering the delivery of essential goods.”
Smaller retailers are also reportedly reopening their online operations as companies become more comfortable with running their online operations while maintaining safe social distancing and cleaning measures.
“Small online stores, from craft and hobby products to clothing and electronics, are coming back into operation where it’s safe to do so,” he continued.
“Just this week, ParcelHero is seeing a number of our online SME retail regulars returning, as companies come to grips with opening their distribution operations again, while maintaining safe social distancing for staff.”