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Report Finds UK Consumers Overwhelmed with Omnichannel Options

U.K.-based consumers are making more than just purchasing decisions. According to the 2014 Retail Report from retail property specialist Hammerson and consultant Conlumino, consumers are choosing the channel they wish to shop with, when they shop, the price they wish to pay, and they have a host of destination options. The result is a “considered consumer” prepared to sift through an increasing amount of stores across numerous channels for the best value.

Overwhelmed with the variety of channels to shop from–stores, online, mobile, catalog and more–the report found that the average shopper has nearly doubled the number of stores they use on a regular basis to 13, compared to 10 years ago. And despite the speed at which technology is changing consumer habits, the study found that consumers spend almost twice as long (approximately 90 minutes) browsing for products.

Conlumino managing director Neil Saunders noted, “Since the downturn the modern consumer has been very fortunate, the majority of people own an abundance of products and don’t have a pressing need to buy more. The problem for retailers is that this abundance can create a complacency and boredom towards shopping; it’s much more difficult to excite people than it used to be.”

Shoppers are willing to wait for offers, too. The report showed that 70 percent of people say they rarely purchase anything at full price, while 60 percent claim they will always wait until a product is on offer. As a result, impulse shopping has waned. Half of non-food expenditures are now said to be planned purchases. Additionally, 12.5% of shoppers regularly check their phones in stores to compare prices.

David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, said, “Retailers have to work harder than ever to attract this customer–they need to distinguish their brand and their value proposition and it’s essential to create compelling shopping environments both on and offline if they are to continue appealing to today’s consumer.”