A new shopping study has revealed that 18 per cent of shoppers believe that the 'click and collect' service changed the way they shopped last year, beating mobile phones, tablets and smartwatches, while 26 per cent say it’s making the high street better.
According to The State of Retail 2016 report released by retail marketing specialists Live and Breathe, convenience is the key factor for the future of retail with 'click and collect' is leading the way in the industry.
The research delivered a positive outlook for shops – 65 per cent of respondents stated they visited physical stores either about the same in 2015 or a little more or much more, and 27 per cent said there is more value now. However, shoppers were clear about the areas they think retailers should focus their attention on in 2016: 53 per cent said cheaper prices, 44 per cent want better quality products while 34 per cent would like better customer experience in-store.
While The State of Retail 2016 report confirms that bricks-and-mortar stores are more important than ever, shoppers are clear on the areas that need improving about the in-store experience: a better in-store experience’ was the third most popular choice for areas that shoppers think retailers should focus on in 2016, behind only cheaper prices and better products while 45 per cent said parking is getting worse – an ongoing battle for shoppers, and the number one complaint about shopping centres, supermarkets, fast food restaurants and coffee shops was that they were too busy with long queues.
Speaking on the new report, Viv Craske, head of innovation and digital at Live and Breathe, said, “In 2016 retail marketers have a choice to make: whether we believe in the high street as a cornerstone in the future of retail, or whether we swallow the popular narrative of the last five years that it’s doomed and that everyone is shopping online.
He continued, “The high street versus online shopping is a false dichotomy. Yes, people are shopping more and more online, but they’re still shopping on the high street.”
Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 43 per cent said they would shop more online more if one-hour delivery was on offer and 13 per cent would do so if their purchases were delivered via drones.
"Click and collect offers one way for the high street to reclaim some lost ground, because it’s clearly a service that’s very much in demand," he said. However, retailers need to understand that shoppers expect a seamless experience that crosses every channel – and their in-store offering and service has to match and support what people get on digital or mobile, he stressed.
"There is also the question of what people want versus what is realistic to deliver. Shoppers want click and collect, they also want same-day delivery and there’s a hunger for that service to be free, but are they prepared to pay more for their goods and what impact would that have on the whole supply chain? These are questions retailers will have to face in 2016."
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