As multichannel retail becomes the norm rather than the exception, a new report published today has named Argos as the most popular retailer over multiple formats.
According to a poll of consumers by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 65 per cent have shopped multichannel with Argos, whilst 50 per cent have with Tesco and 36 per cent with Marks & Spencer.
The data comes from an investigation by PwC which suggests that UK consumers are increasingly expecting retailers to offer multiple shopping platforms, with over 90 per cent of respondents saying that they had shopped multichannel with at least one retailer, while most of those shopped across platforms with two to five preferred brands.
PwC also found that 80 per cent of shoppers thought that the power to buy ‘whenever they want’ was the key factor behind them using multichannel retailing.
Mark Hudson, UK Retail and Consumer Leader for PwC, said: “Shoppers haven’t abandoned physical stores yet, they are just using them for different things and in different ways.
“Our analysis shows that the reason people go to stores is growing increasingly polarised between the two extremes of entertainment and convenience - a number of retailers are already grasping the implications of this trend and are adapting their advertising and store formats accordingly.”
One in six people consider themselves as ‘expert’ online shoppers and although the majority of these consumers are young and affluent, around 20 per cent of them are over 55 years old.
Sector seems to be important to online research, with 66 per cent of respondents preferring to look up electrical goods online before visiting a store compared to 35 per cent for furniture and homewares and under 20 per cent for fashion items.
The report argues that retailers must continue to invest in their multichannel operations to stay ahead of their competitors and ensure they offer their clients a joined up service across all platforms of trade.
Puneeta Mongia, the report author and leader of retail strategy at PwC, said: “There is a real challenge here for retailers - our data shows that despite the fact there are now more opportunities for consumers to shop, it’s not prompting them to spend more than they did before.
“Consumers are instead consolidating their spending with their favourite multi-channel retailers - meaning being a ‘favourite brand’ will become increasingly important, and that those without multi-channel propositions may well lose out.
“The winners will be the retailers that are most tuned to their customers’ changing needs, and have the technology and organisational control to get customers the products they want, when they want and in the ways they want to shop.”