British consumers are turning to cost-conscious shopping due to the Coronavirus pandemic with orders from coupon and vouchers publishers up by 52% from February 2 to April 26, according to data from Rakuten Advertising’s UK affiliate network.

Deal sites have also been thriving with a significant spike as the UK entered lockdown. According to Rakuten Advertising’s data, orders increased by 173% between February and April — indicating consumers are turning to online and cost-conscious shopping during these times.

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.

“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,” said Anthony Capano, MD of International at Rakuten Advertising.

Rakuten Advertising’s research also highlighted a surge in demand for certain product verticals during lockdown. The network saw sharp increases in sales of puzzles, coffee machines and yoga products for example.

The data also found orders from loyalty sites have remained relatively steady, revealing consumers are looking for more savvy ways to shop during this time.

From an advertiser perspective, brands can acquire new customers during the pandemic by offering value and rewarding loyalty.

“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,” added Capano.