A new survey reveals that the biggest bugbear for almost half (41%) of UK shoppers is getting to a high street store only to find the product they wanted to buy is not available when they get there.
This frustration is further compounded when it comes to special offers – 59% of consumers reported they had seen a special offer or been sent a voucher from a store, travelled to the store and then found the product was out of stock.
Retail IT consulting and technology firm, REPL Group, spoke to more than 1,000 UK shoppers – and they don’t just want to shop online any more.
Researchers learned that 70% of shoppers believe that apps which provide real-time stock information, product recommendations and could give shop staff access to in-depth product knowledge and customers’ buying profiles would enhance their offline shopping experience.
“We can see that consumers are demanding technology be used to make the shopping experience more convenient. For shoppers, some of the biggest pain points of going to the high street are queues and insufficient stock which can lead to unnecessary and fruitless shopping trips,” said Mike Callender, executive chairman, REPL Group.
“By introducing technology to address these issues, store owners have the potential to attract consumers back to the high street and make shopping trips a smoother experience.”
The report also found that more than half of UK shoppers (52%) expect that by 2025 technology will allow stores to be completely cash free and consumers will be able to use apps to browse goods available instore, so they’re ready to be tried on, tested or picked up when they arrive. Callender continues:
“It is important that retailers take heed of these frustrations or risk alienating shoppers further. With external issues such as parking acting as a deterrent to visiting the high street for almost a third of shoppers (30%), retailers must do everything in their power to improve the factors within their control. Introducing technology which allows consumers to check in-store stock levels before they head to the store would help to overcome much of these frustrations and create a more positive high street shopping experience and ensure shoppers don’t walk away empty handed.”
“Many of the responses also reflect that consumers crave a more personalised shopping experience with apps providing recommendations and giving retail workers an insight into shopping profiles. By adopting technology that allows for this, retailers will have the ability to not only address the needs of the consumer and create more bespoke shopping experiences, but also to stand out from both high street and online competitors.”