New research out today has revealed a growing shopping trend is emerging out of people’s inability to hit the shops with groups of friends and family. One in five Brits has been ‘Squad Shopping’ – using video calls or screen sharing technology to shop online with friends and family.

As lockdown hits many more Brits, consumers are looking for ways to continue their hobbies whilst engaging with friends and family. One in ten is even considering trying the trend for themselves, as nearly half of us have been shopping online more than previously.

The research from online value retailer, Studio.co.uk, also found 40 percent of us think we are now better at spotting a bargain and would describe themselves as ‘savvier shoppers’ since the start of the pandemic.

Two thirds (62 per cent) of Brits are more likely to think about a product’s value before purchasing. This is due to money becoming more important to many (37 per cent), so people are choosing to spend wisely. Likewise, a quarter (24 per cent) put it down to having more time to browse.

When it comes to defining ‘good value’, most (58 per cent) would say it is the combination of high quality and low price, whereas a further 44 per cent say it is down to the product being used a lot.

Whilst many have reduced their shopping and spending, more than half (55 per cent) say this is because they have become much more aware of their cost of living.

This awareness of the cost of living and limited money is also driving a thriftier attitude:

  • Two thirds (58 per cent) are making more of an effort to look after and repair items rather than throw them away
  • Ten per cent are going to charity shops and accepting more hand-me-downs
  • 51 per cent have a renewed appreciation for being savvy with their spending

The study also shows that lockdown has impacted how much we value other parts of our life, with many saying that the experience has helped to find out what they truly appreciate. The things we now value more include:

  • The health of the family – gone up for nearly 71 percent
  • The value of spending time with family increased for 69 per cent
  • Spending time with friends is now valued more by two thirds of us (62 per cent).

Chris Chalmers, marketing director at Studio.co.uk, said: “It’s encouraging to see that despite lockdown measures, people are finding new ways to socialise virtually and go about their regular leisure activities with friends – even if it is a little different to what they’re used to.

“Clearly our love for a shopping trip with friends is still strong. People are being very savvy about how they can still enjoy the combination of seeking out a bargain and socialising with loved ones, creating an experience they will value emotionally and financially. As more households have to separate, people are really valuing the importance of staying connected.”

Personal finance expert and mum of three, Lynn James aka Mrs Mummypenny, added: “Understanding the value of things is so important to having a healthy relationship with money. With so many people at home, it has become so much easier to find deals and bargains, to live a great life for less, but it’s just as important to balance the benefit and price.”