Some 76% of consumers are more likely to visit shops that have sent them a personalised offer on their smartphone, a survey by Vista Retail Support has found, while 25% of shoppers are also more likely to spend more. The latest research comes weeks before the busy Christmas shopping period, when retailers across the UK are scrambling to attract as many holiday shoppers as possible.
Despite reports of online sales eating into the profits of physical retailers, over 89% of the respondents plan on shopping on the high street this Christmas either as a sole source for gifts or hand in hand with online shopping. The top reasons cited for continuing to do so were the ability to inspect potential gifts (75%), the festive atmosphere (47%) and the lack of delivery times that are unavoidable with online shopping (35%).
But shopping in-store isn’t without its faults. Among the most notable complaints from respondents were “a general feeling of chaos,” i.e. items scattered on the floor (73%), long queues (70%), inattentive or unknowledgeable staff (37%) and overbearing Christmas music (14%).
For shoppers facing long queues, the most popular alternatives were self-service kiosks (55%), followed closely by staff with mobile point of sale systems, such as tablets (45%), with respondents citing the speed and convenience of the latter.
The survey also found that a majority of consumers plan to do their Christmas shopping with others. 33% said they will be shopping with a spouse or partner, 19% with family and 8% with friends. 41% said they will be shopping alone.
“Regardless of whether shoppers plan on shopping alone or decide to take a ‘the more, the merrier’ approach, retailers will find that a hassle-free and personalised shopping experience is at the top of their wish lists,” James Pepper, technical services director at Vista, said.. “Technology continues to play an ever greater role across the retail landscape,” says Pepper. “Research clearly shows that the proper execution of retail technology carries strong benefits for all periods of the customer journey, from enticing them to enter a store all the way to ensuring they’re taken care of at the till.”
“As retailers prepare for the annual flurry of Christmas shoppers, they must ensure they set themselves apart from their competitors on the high street and online. By ensuring the right solutions are in place, retailers can guarantee their customers and stakeholders have a happy Christmas.”