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According to new data from Rakuten Advertising’s UK affiliate network, orders from coupon and voucher publishers increased by 52% from early February to early April 2020.

Deal sites have also been thriving with a significant spike as the UK entered lockdown; orders increased by 173% between February and April. The research shows consumers are turning to online and cost-conscious shopping due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, the number of online orders has increased by 36% since the start of COVID-19 in the UK, with mobile devices taking a greater percentage of total orders during this time. Mobile orders peaked in mid-April, driving 56% of all orders. Despite people staying at home with access to desktops, mobile remains the most popular way to shop online.

Anthony Capano, MD of International at Rakuten Advertising comments, “With more people buying online, brands can acquire new customers even if purse strings are tighter. People are likely to be more open to purchasing from a brand they haven’t bought from before in exchange for an incentive or if their usual product isn’t available.”

Insights drawn from Rakuten Advertising’s product-specific data highlight a surge in demand for some products during lockdown. The network saw sharp increases in sales of puzzles, coffee machines and yoga products for example.

The data also shows orders from loyalty sites have remained relatively steady. This reinforces the idea that consumers are looking for savvy ways to shop during this time.

Capano continues, “Customers are looking for brands to provide value during this uncertain time. Partnering with publishers that provide additional value in the form of an incentive or free shipping code, or even by providing cashback, can help brands reach consumers at a time when they’re ready to make a purchase. By offering benefits that help customers now, brands can encourage those shoppers to return after the pandemic and win loyalty.”

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