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E-commerce Compact #12: Local Shopping, Rise in Online Retail & More

22.06.2020, 4m

What's new in e-commerce? In our latest version of E-commerce Compact, you'll learn how UK consumers preferred local shopping during the lockdown. Also, read about online retail sales increasing and how the new 3D tool 'Shavatar' wants to decrease returns in the online fashion industry.

60% of consumers prefer local shops during lockdown

In a crowded street, people are walking by.

A recent study shows that ever since the coronavirus lockdown, 59% of UK consumers did their shopping in local shops.

This shows that customers were more likely to spend their money in their local communities while aware of the impact their spending would have on local businesses. 

Three symbols are to be seen: A shop, a laptop and a parcel.

57% of the people surveyed said that they would be more likely to buy locally sourced products after lockdown ends. They also claimed they’d do so more often than they did before restrictions were taken. 

One in five customers decided not to buy from brands that, for example, lacked of hygiene measures for their employees or responded poorly to the outbreak of the coronavirus in other ways. 

28% of shoppers aged between 16 and 24 actively stopped purchasing products from those type of brands. 

Thus, the importance of a brand's voice and actions are clearly very important to young shoppers.

Recommended Reading:
Millennials: The New Customers and How They Can be Reached 

Of those surveyed, 62% stated they would prefer buying from companies that prioritise hygiene and health safety for their staff.

Check out our free Checklist below on How to Run Your Business During the Corona-Crisis!

coronavirus checklist

UK online retail sales increase by +30% YoY in May

In May, online retail sales in the UK experienced the highest increase since 2008:
Sales rose by 32.7% year-on-year, data collected by imrg shows.


Strong sales results were already delivered in April. Since then, sales have increased even more rapidly as there was a 13.6% month-on-month growth. 

Almost all categories (except for clothing), especially electronics, alcohol and houseware reached a peak. 

The most successful online shops, especially regarding the generating of new customers, have been multi-channel retailers.

Focussing even more on e-commerce, they performed better than online-only shops (+53% vs. +10.1% during May). 

Someone is opening an App with a shopping cart logo on a smartphone.

3D avatar tool Shavatar to decrease fashion product returns

New 3D avatar tool, Shavatar, was invented to ensure that fewer returns happen in online fashion shops. 

With the tool, consumers can generate their very own 3D avatars when shopping for clothes online. Customers can do so easily at home without having to use a scanner.

After the creation of the avatar is done, products in the appropriate size and fit are then suggested to the customer by the Shavatar tool. 

Two little robots stand next to each other.

The University of Antwerp and research institution, Imec, presented the tool as a collaboration. The idea was conceived by Femke Danckaers when she was researching at Imec’s lab for her PhD. 

Taking in parameters like height, cup size, weight, and other measurements, Shavatar visualises the human body shape in 3D.

Soon, the tool is to be included in various fashion brand online shops. If you’re interested, you can already have a peek at and create your own individual 3D avatar. After, you’ll receive customised advice for over 50 clothing brands.

A woman carrying several shopping bags is looking at her smartphone.

There have already been plenty ideas for tackling the issue of too many returns in the online fashion industry. 

Still, it is an ongoing problem. 

Shavatar CEO Geert Mertens said “Our own survey among 200 people shows that 73 percent of consumers who want to buy clothing online ultimately decide not to place an order because they’re not sure it’s the right size...”. 

Recommended Reading:
How to Deal with Serial Returners and Reduce Your Shop's Return Rate

To further prove the point of why such an app might be useful, consider the following stat: 40% of online fashion shoppers said they prefer to place orders with the same items in different sizes, thus making sure to have ordered the right size.

These numbers certainly have impacted business models in the online fashion industry, Mertens commented.


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