Half of Brits say they can’t stop online shopping in lockdown

Danica G. Bivens
Brits are turning to online shopping to boost their mood and fill their time during lockdown. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images
Brits are turning to online shopping to boost their mood and fill their time during lockdown. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images

With after-work drinks cancelled and weekend brunches postponed, Brits have turned to online shopping to fill their time and give themselves something to do.

In a survey of 1,500 UK adults by price comparison site Idealo, nearly half (48%) of Brits said online shopping has made them feel happier during the COVID-19 lockdown, with almost a third (31%) admitting to making a purchase every single week.

What’s more, nearly half said they have become “obsessed” with buying things online since lockdown began on 21 March, while 39% admitted to buying something they “wouldn’t normally buy.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Top tips to save when shopping online in lockdown

A third of those surveyed said they have been buying items for their home, with home and garden being the most

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Buy now, pay whenever? Lockdown lift for online shopping loans

Danica G. Bivens

By Nikhil Nainan

(Reuters) – Browsing online during lockdown, Jessica Friend spotted a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses she liked, but the price tag made the 30-year-old Ohio resident think twice.

What persuaded her to click ‘buy’, Friend said, was the short-term credit offered by Afterpay, which split the $260 payment into four interest-free instalments.

Afterpay is among a handful of alternative credit firms which offer small loans, mostly to online shoppers, and make their money by charging merchants a 4%-6% commission.

These buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) firms have benefited from a shift to online shopping during the coronavirus crisis in countries including the United States, where state aid has also boosted retail sales.

“I’m more inclined to use them because they make it easier to afford to get the things I want all at once … and when I want to splurge on something,” Friend said of the loans.

Some investors are

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