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Consumers miss in-store experiences and crave physical elements of retail

Wednesday, Feb 3, 2021

Shoppers in the UK admittedly miss brick-and-mortar experiences. In a recent survey from the Emarsys research report, 74% of consumers noted that they miss the physical aspect of in-store shopping.

They found that consumers have been frustrated by the frictions of e-commerce. One in five shoppers ordered online items that they didn’t like or want, because they couldn’t see them in-person.

The research data also reported that 30% of consumers want to physically touch and try on items in brick-and-mortar stores.

“As our research shows, consumers are still crying out for in-store shopping experiences, with many planning to return to Britain’s high streets when lockdown ends. At the same time, traditionally online brands like Amazon, Shein and Gymshark are also bucking the trend, investing in physical stores as part of their commitment to great customer experiences. While e-commerce is clearly the future, savvy brands should continue to invest in Britain’s high streets. Post lockdown, consumers will continue to demand a ‘best of both worlds’ approach, with those retailers that offer an omnichannel experience being in the highest demand,” said Payal Hindocha, Retail Analyst at Emarsys.

Another UK survey report from Fresh Relevance found similar insights regarding consumer’s brick-and-mortar preferences and e-commerce shortcomings during the pandemic.

Fresh Relevance noted that consumers desire clear communication and a personalized shopping experience, which can be difficult to convey in an online setting. Survey respondents noted their top frustrations with e-commerce, including:

  • Not being able to touch and try products before buying them (40%)
  • Online stores that are difficult to navigate (38%)
  • Seeing exclusive offers aimed at new shoppers (38%)
  • Sold-out items with no information on when the product will be restocked (34%)

Findings from both sources allude to the fact that in-store shopping is essential. Consumers crave the ability to see and touch merchandise, while interacting with others in a brick-and-mortar environment.

Source: UK Shoppers – Emarsys Research Report, UK Shoppers – Fresh Relevance Report
Photo Credit: Unsplash

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