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7 out of 10 of shoppers prefer to spend in-store

Thu 10 November 2011
A survey of 5,570 UK shoppers conducted by Retail Eyes (recently acquired by Market Force Information), has found that 76.7% of consumers prefer to shop in-store. And despite the mass of tempting offers in shop windows, the majority of consumers (75.6%) say that the best bargains are found online.

With the retail industry waiting with bated breath for the Mary Portas’ High Street review, interestingly 45.2% of the UK shoppers surveyed confirmed they prefer to shop on traditional high streets, compared to malls and online. These consumers said they preferred the traditional high streets and outdoor town centres because they have a wider range of shops and character.

Tim Ogle, CEO at Retail Eyes comments: “It’s clear from our research that consumers still like to take part in the physical shopping ‘experience’ when purchasing products. However, with shoppers still being tempted to spend their money online, believing this is where the best offers are, retailers need to look at what they can offer customers to entice them into the stores.

There’s been little let up in this tough retail climate and there’s only so much retailers can do in terms of price reductions and promotions to offer customers a bargain. Therefore retailers should be looking at what other ways they can differentiate themselves on the high street, in order to drive in-store conversions, one highly cost effective way is by focusing on the experience and service they give to customers.”

Parking is often a source of frustration for consumers, be it on the high street or at shopping centres; 80% confirmed parking at shopping centres was very expensive and 45.8% confirmed they would be put off visiting a shopping centre all together if there were bad or costly parking facilities.

Ogle continued: “Access and parking for shopping centres and on the high street, is a topic many of us are expecting Mary Portas to cover in her review. 72% of consumers we spoke to confirmed they felt parking was ‘too expensive’ on the high street; 42.3% also said they would only queue to up to five minutes to park before leaving. These results show that shopping centre and high street management also have a vital role to play in bringing consumers back to the shops.

“The run up to Christmas is a vital time for businesses. Even though recent British Retail Consortium figures continue to show consumer demand is weak, retailers must look to do everything in their power to maximise the service and experience they give their customers.”