Lockdown easing sees surge in personal care sector data use

19th May 2021: TalkTalk Business has recorded a huge spike in data usage in the personal care sector as Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease. 

The UK’s beauty and personal care sector has seen internet usage surge in salons and other premises in the five weeks since non-essential retail reopened, increasing by 132% between the month of March and April 2021.

Manicurists saw the steepest increase in internet usage within the sector, up by 234%, with customers becoming more heavily reliant on card machines as people steer away from handling cash.

Barbers were among other businesses with the highest increase – with their data usage up 173% month over month. Beauty salons closely followed (+165%), and tattoo studios have seen a 116% increase, highlighting the importance of a fast, efficient online experience in shops and salons.

While the personal care sector has been leading the way in data usage over the past couple of months, the return to the office is driving growth in other sectors. The service sector has seen an increase in data usage of 4.7% and retail is driving usage up by 4.6%. 

This week, as consumers ventured out as restrictions eased, home usage declined. TalkTalk’s network usage in homes dropped by 4.5% on Monday 17th May vs the prior Monday as indoor socialising was once again allowed.

Calum McLean, TalkTalk Business customer and Director of CODE Essential Barbering in Glasgow, offered styling tips and tutorials to customers via video calls during lockdown. With CODE’s doors now open again, he said: “Our customers were so excited to return to our barbers after a long four months that they immediately logged in to our Wi-Fi so that they could share their new haircuts with friends and family. It’s great exposure for us too - we are constantly re-sharing images and tagging customers on our main Instagram feed. It helps us build relationships with our clients!”

Phil Haslam, Chief Technology Officer at TalkTalk, said: “For a business of any size, ensuring they have access to a fast, reliable, affordable internet connection will be crucial for bettering customer experience. Essential functions such as bookings and payments will continue moving online and people want to be able to stay connected on the go.”