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Deck the halls and stock the shelves

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Just a little over 6 weeks before Christmas, comes new research from Worldpay, the UK’s leading payments processor, revealing consumer irritants over the festive season.

According to the commissioned survey, extended queuing times, limited stock and impersonal service have been proven to cause tension during the annual festive shopping spree. The findings reveal that just under a third of UK Christmas shoppers have found themselves involved in an argument and even coming into arguments with a stranger, over seasonal shopping stress.

While the nation may be renown for politeness and queueing, participants singled out waiting in a line as a major vexation during the busiest retail period of the year. Worldpay found in-store tensions begin to rise amongst customers after just five minutes stood in a queue, with 41% of those surveyed claiming anything in excess of that five minute wait would see them abandon their purchase and head out of the door for good.

Demanding customers also take a negative view on retailers who run out stock, with a third (33%) claiming they’d be unlikely to give a store a second chance if it failed to supply the item they were looking for. Although two thirds (66%) of shoppers say they check the website if an item is out of stock in-store, they admit they’re just as likely to buy from a competitor once they’re left to their own devices online.

With the Christmas shopping season now in full-swing, Worldpay has teamed up with notable retail psychologist Tim Denison to show how technology is helping the high street evolve to deliver the type of personalised, convenient and stress-free in-store experience today’s discerning shopper expects.

Tim Denison, Director of Retail Intelligence at Ipsos Retail said:

“Technology is transforming the face of in-store retailing at a pace and breadth that we simply haven’t seen before. It’s changing the ways that consumers and retailers are engaging with one another. Selling to the mass market is fast becoming a thing of the past. Retailers are now able to offer personalised services not just online, but in store, making smart recommendations on goods that will appeal to every shopper, so fostering closer connections with them.

In this fast living, digital age, shoppers have never been so open to changes that lead to more rewarding, enhanced and interactive experiences. They also want the freedom to shop at the time and place and in the ways that suit them best. These are exciting times for the retail sector. To think that technology will be the enabler to resurrect customer service, negate the need to queue and avoid the inconvenience of out of stock situations is something that both shopper and retailer will welcome with relish, particularly at Christmas time.”

Dave Hobday, Managing Director of Worldpay in the UK and Ireland, added:

“There’s no better sales opportunity than when a prospective customer walks into your store with a faint look of panic in their eyes. This is the best time to spring into action by offering advice, making recommendations and closing a sale – but how can staff do this if they’re marooned behind a till?

Mobile payment devices move staff from behind the checkout onto the shop-floor, where they can be far more effective as a salesforce. Not only does the technology reduce queues by allowing staff to take payments anywhere in-store, it also links directly to ecommerce so out-of-stock items can be ordered and paid for before a customer leaves the store.”

Published on Tuesday 11 November by Editorial Assistant
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