Most consumers from Germany or Spain surveyed prefer to buy phones online now, whereas those from the UK do not
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Counterpoint Research has released details on a new study into smartphone buying habits in 3 European countries in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has found that the preference for shopping online for these devices has skyrocketed in 2 of them: 76% of Spainish consumers polled will buy their next mobile device online, whereas 95% of German respondents say they will do the same.
By contrast, 90% of UK participants still prefer to go to a physical location (mainly supermarkets that stock phones or dedicated electronics stores) to look at or handle products before making their purchase. Prominent chains in this country such as Currys/PC World and Carphone Warehouse have reportedly stated they are "committed to the brick & mortar outlets and their employees" in order to fulfil this demand.
Currys also caters to buyers who prefer the in-store experience with initiatives such as personalized video-calling services and free device-recycling in-store. Nevertheless, these companies have experienced store closures and staff-member loss due to the economic downturn exerted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, online shopping for phones is on the rise in the UK. The proportion of sales on these platforms rose to 35% in 1Q2020, and is expected to remain at this level at least in the future. Meanwhile, retailers such as Amazon appear to be popular in Spain and Germany as they offer good deals on off-contract phones. Then again, big national operators such as Fnac, Walmart and Conectrol in the former or Saturn and MediaMarkt in the latter remain "big options".