As shopper numbers fall across Britain’s high streets, a new survey has revealed the growing concerns of millions of Brits who want to reduce contact when shopping because of the pandemic.

The survey* released by Shift, an online moving marketplace, has found on average 46% of respondents across the county would prefer a service which minimises contact between the buyer and the seller as much as possible in the future when buying gifts or products.

That number was higher on average in London however, with almost half (49%) of those surveyed stating that they would prefer a service that minimises contact between them and the buyer, while coronavirus still affects the country.

Whilst the country gets to grips with rising cases of the Omicron variant, the numbers of shoppers on Britain’s high streets have plunged across the country. The survey results suggest 2022 could see further need for on-demand delivery services which offer a reliable and smart way to order the pick-up and delivery of goods for more shoppers, from large to small items.

Most anxious about minimising contact when shopping were those respondents aged 55 years old or over who said with the Coronavirus pandemic still affecting the country, they would prefer a service which minimises contact between them and the seller, whereas 2 in 5 (40%) respondents aged 16-24 said the same.

In addition, the survey also found that 47% of those surveyed are more likely to use a third-party service such as Shift, to collect an item in comparison to five years ago. With general availability of third-party services, safety and fuel prices being the key reasons why.

Neil Carroll, Head of Customer Service at Shift, said: “With the Omicron variant transmission rates a major concern for many people across the country, it’s not surprising that shoppers are concerned about the number of contacts they have to make when buying a product or a gift when out shopping. This could be a trend we see in the future as buyers continue to change their shopping habits due to the pandemic and look for reliable and smarter ways to book pick-up and delivery of goods which minimise risk to their health and safety.

“Delivery services like Shift can help alleviate some of these worries. Customers can use Shift to order a person and van service on demand as efficiently and sustainably as possible using clever tech and algorithms. The Shifters will then pick up and deliver any item of choice saving customers a trip to the shops.”

Shift, founded four years ago by tech entrepreneur Jacob Corlett, offers a very easy way to order a delivery person and van service – on demand, and efficiently. Previously, the logistics industry has revolved around manual processes which can be an inefficient way to provide a delivery or removal service.

Instead of having people manually routing bookings, Shift uses tech and data to map out drivers and fleets’ existing schedules, finding ‘dead time’, and matching it up with people who need to move stuff – be that as a third-party delivery service for online marketplaces such as eBay and Gumtree, or Ikea, in which Shift can arrange items bought online to be moved from the seller to the buyer.