High street retailers must improve shopping experience or risk losing sales

A new study by Barclaycard of 2,000 UK adults aged 18+ reveals that UK consumers are becoming increasingly frustrated with high street shops and turning their attention to online shopping. As a result, retailers are facing growing pressure to improve their in-store experience, or risk losing out on sales.

According to the research, 32 per cent of busy and tech-savvy shoppers say that lack of time is what drives them to shop online, with 63 per cent admitting to abandoning purchases due to a poor in-store experience, including crowded shops, queues at checkout and long waits for fitting rooms.

42 per cent of consumers believe retailers need to better align their in-store and online offerings by creating an "onmi-channel" shopping experience, with added offerings such as a Click and Collect delivery option.

Shoppers are also calling for high-street retailers to introduce new technology to help improve and speed up service, with “scan and buy” apps and digital fitting rooms, providing shops with new opportunities to respond to consumer demands for ease and flexibility.

Commenting on the findings, Sharon Manikon, Director of Customer Solutions at Barclaycard said: “Our research shows that consumers no longer want to have to choose between buying online or in-store. Instead time-pressed shoppers crave a personal experience that allows them to take advantage of technology and a high street presence, brought together seamlessly in a way that works best for them.

“To drive sales in an increasingly competitive environment, retailers need to focus on aligning their digital and high street offerings so that they complement each other. By using technology such as payment apps to reduce queues and virtual reality tools that allow shoppers to visualise themselves wearing items of clothing, retailers can lay the foundations to survive and thrive during the busy upcoming festive period and well into the future.”

At Beavis Morgan, our specialist advisers to the retail sector understand that, in this competitive environment, retail business owners must work hard to win customer loyalty, increase productivity and strengthen their market position. We work with a number of retail businesses, helping them with strategic planning, business turnaround and improving business performance for the future.

For further information about how we can help you and your business, contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.