Research from the BRC earlier this year shows that the retail sector could be considerably smaller by 2025, as the industry faces rising costs due to the “national living wage”.
Now a report into UK buying habits has revealed that a third of consumers find shopping to be much less enjoyable than it was five years ago, despite technological advancements.
The Unfaithful Consumer report, commissioned by reward programme provider Webloyalty and carried out by retail research agency Conlumino, highlights the issues behind the rise in consumer fatigue and what retailers must do to tackle it.
Findings highlight that whilst there are still some items that remain popular on shopping trips such as homewares, furniture, electricals, beauty and clothing, articles like shoes, food and DIY now fall into the chore category. The figures are compelling with around 70% of consumers claiming they just don’t have the time to shop anymore and 55% highlighting the importance of convenience.
The report also reveals that 74% of consumers remain unsatisfied with at least one aspect of their shopping experience; they are generally more demanding and quick to condemn retailers who fail to meet expectations. More specifically, rudeness from staff, poor quality, dirty stores and big price rises are at the top of the long list of things that would make consumers shop elsewhere.
According to the report, the areas UK retailers should focus on to boost customer retention include transforming online and in-store destinations, making them more engaging and exciting to ensure a positive customer experience. Retailers are also encouraged to innovate using the technology readily available, focus on value for money and invest in service.
“Consumers are just not enthused anymore and this isn’t due to a lack of choice or variety because the retail space is more crowded than ever,” comments Guy Chiswick, Managing Director at Webloyalty Northern Europe. “It is the increased frequency and the ease with which we buy things that has led to boredom.
“Shoppers want to be incentivised, inspired, entertained and they’re actively looking for newness for a memorable shopping experience. Retailers need to innovate and make the most of the technology that’s available to bring the fun back into shopping. There is great potential in areas like gamification, beacon-based geolocation programs and online communities for example, which offer new ways to shop.