UK retail property specialist Hammerson has launched a report with retail consultant Conlumino, to reveal the evolving shopping habits of the UK’s consumer and a definitive portrait of the modern shopper.
The findings show that while digital innovations and research tools have empowered the consumer, they have also made the shopping trip more complex. An average journey including browsing, researching, checking prices and purchasing now takes more than four hours, with nearly 40% of this time spent in store.
The report highlights consumers’ constant access to retail and the ability to shop whenever and wherever they choose, with most (86%) now using two or more channels. A quarter of younger shoppers (24%) use four or more channels, with over half (58%) using mobile or tablet devices whilst shopping.
Despite the lengthy research and browse time, the consumer seeks instant gratification with a staggering 96% unwilling to wait more than three days to collect a purchase.
Black Friday and ‘half price’ found to be most effective promotions
Together, Hammerson and Conlumnio also found that over a third of channel surfing enthusiasts (35%) say they spent more because of Black Friday – with nearly three quarters (71%) using the promotion to treat themselves. More than half of consumers (53%) plan to do even more of their Christmas shopping on Black Friday this year.
The time-stretched value hunters are most promotionally driven, with a fifth of their overall spend dedicated to deals. Across the tribes ‘half price’ is the most appealing offer, with ‘limited time’ and ‘online only’ offers resonating mainly with the younger age group.
Click and collect the preferred method for shoppers
Although home delivery is still the most widely used fulfilment option for online purchases, consumer frustrations are notable with half of shoppers (50%) claiming delivery times and charges are off-putting. As a result, Click and Collect is increasingly seen as the preferred option, with 55% of consumers saying they would use this fulfilment method if retailers offered it.
David Atkins, CEO at Hammerson, said: “In many ways, the proliferation of research tools and digital innovations has democratised shopping, empowering consumers but also giving retailers numerous touch points to reach their customers and engage with them along the journey. With nearly two fifths of this shopping time spent in store, there is a real opportunity for retailers to showcase a proposition that is unmatched in the online world, and for landlords to provide experiences beyond pure retail that capture and extend customer dwell-time.
The findings bring to life the modern Shopper Tribes, highlighting their differing priorities, attitudes and expectations, which provide real insight for retailers in our constantly evolving industry.”
Maureen Hinton, Group Research Director at Conlumino, added: “Technology and changing consumer habits are making retailing far more complex for both consumers and retailers. Despite the range of channels and devices on offer to shoppers, stores remain a major element of the shopping trip. However they must deliver more than convenience and offer inspiration to their customers so they are not just collection points but also destinations.”