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Established 1996
Sunday 23 February 2020


85% still prefer to shop in-store

Written by Peter Walker

Although the rapid growth of e-commerce has significantly reduced High Street footfall, new research has revealed that three quarters of customers would still prefer to make a purchase in a store, with 82 per cent saying they prefer to receive the product as soon as they’ve purchased it.

The survey of 1,056 UK adults carried out by digital agency Marketing Signals found that 94 per cent of shoppers stated they always research a product online before going into store to purchase, while 78 per cent prefer to go in store to see and feel a product before going online to shop around for the best price.

According to the Office for National Statistics, retail sales in the UK totalled more than £366 billion in 2017, though 85 per cent of sales still happen in stores, not online.

Gareth Hoyle, managing director at Marketing Signals, suggested that retailers which utilise digital technologies to drive in-store footfall, whilst tracking and attributing customers to their digital spend, are setting themselves up most likely to succeed in the modern age.

“In an ideal world, consumers would rather visit a store to make a purchase, though due to time constraints, stock issues and ultimately, convenience, many turn to shopping online,” he continued, adding: “This is a lesson for retailers to ensure their digital presence is working as hard as it possibly can for them, offering an omnichannel journey and an experience that is most convenient for customers.”

Hoyle pointed to technologies such as Google Store Visits, which allows retailers to directly attribute digital marketing spend to increased footfall. “Retailers that embrace proximity marketing and beacon technology can directly speak to customers in store - for example, if they are in store and go onto Google to shop around - the retailer can force a pop-up notification to the user’s phone with the offer of a discount code or similar.”


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