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Increasingly a physical High Street presence is influencing consumers’ decisions on whether they shop with brands online, the latest research from Retail Technology Show, the event that brings together Europe’s most forward-thinking retailers and leading tech innovators, reveals.

Original research of over 2,000 UK shoppers in Retail Technology Show’s latest ‘Retail Revolution’ report showed that free delivery was the top consideration that would motivate shoppers to continue to buy from a retailer online (70%), followed by a simple and easy returns process (40%).  This was followed by demand for more personalised digital buying experiences, with 29% of UK shoppers saying that online retailers would need to make them feel like a valued individual customer online, rather than just website traffic, to secure their long-term loyalty.

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However, whilst ecommerce fulfilment capabilities and personalisation remained central to consumers’ expectations of their digital buying journeys, increasingly a bricks-and-mortar presence is now a critical factor in shoppers’ decisions to continue to shop with a retailer online.  Two fifths (20%) of UK consumers said they would be more likely to buy from a digital retailer if their ecommerce offer was backed up by a physical presence on the High Street.  And, with the likes of Amazon, which opened its first non-food store Amazon Four Star in the UK last year, and Boohoo, which launched its inaugural Debenhams.com beauty store in Manchester last month, leading pureplays are increasingly recognising the value physical stores play within their digital-first retail strategies.

However, whilst UK shoppers want online retailers to support their ecommerce offer with a High Street presence, over a quarter (28%) said they would only continue to use bricks-and-mortar stores if they could match the speed and convenience of shopping online – putting technology and digital transformation that builds blended shopping experiences at the heart of bricks-and-mortar retail’s future success.

Matt Bradley, Event Director for the Retail Technology Show, commented: “Whilst responsible for a seismic shift and much disruption in the retail industry, the truth is that the future of retail arrived long before Covid.  For well over a decade, retailers have been on a journey to transform their businesses to engage the omnichannel customer, who’s demands have converged across channels and now expect seamless, personal and connected shopping journeys.  The rate of change from business to business has varied wildly, but with the accelerated shift to new ways of shopping in the past 18 months, the urgency to act is now more pressing than ever.  Retailers’ biggest challenge is how to trade effectively right now whilst implementing the technologies and processes that will help them stay relevant as many of the current consumer trends turn into business as usual.”

To find out more about the top trends impacting retail in 2022 and beyond, download the full Retail Revolution report for free:  https://bit.ly/RTS_Retail_Revolution_Report

Taking place at London’s Olympia on the 26-27 April 2022, Retail Technology Show’s mission is to drive the industry forwards through innovation by bringing together the brightest minds in retail and future-forward technology providers.  Retail Technology Show is the foremost platform that fast-forwards retailers’ digital transformation strategies and empowers retail businesses to thrive, survive and disrupt, powered by technological advancements and innovation.

“Retail really is coming home to Olympia,” Bradley continued.  “After 1,090 long days since our last retail technology expo in 2019, we can’t wait to open the doors to Retail Technology Show, the new flagship event for retail, in April.  With the significant disruption and seismic shifts retail has experienced during the pandemic, never before has an event that showcases the innovation to drive retail businesses forwards been as needed by the industry.  As a first opportunity for many to ‘get back to normal’ and enjoy the benefits that only face-to-face networking at large-scale trade events can deliver, we can’t wait to reunite the industry’s retailers and innovators at the 2022 show.  It will very much be retail’s ‘Freedom Day’.”

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