UK consumers want ‘connected shopping’ experience

UK consumers want a connected shopping experience, a global survey of 20,000 shoppers has revealed.

The new report commissioned by social media company Snap, which looks at shopping behaviour around the world, also found that 40 per cent of British consumers use their mobile in-store to look up more information on a product.

Connected shopping, where consumers can combine the convenience of digital experiences with the benefits of a physical store, is expected to become critical to drawing shoppers back to the High Street.

Nearly a third of Brits said they go out of their way to visit a store if it had interactive services that allowed them to try-on and test items virtually, while a fifth (19 per cent) said they were more likely to shop in stores that offered online features such as instant access to stock information or a home delivery service.

The study showed that UK consumers were more inclined to shop online in the next 12 months compared to those in the US, France, and Japan.

44 per cent of Brits plan to do the majority of their clothes shopping online in the next year – well above the global average of 38 per cent and higher than almost any other country surveyed.

The report also found that only 34 per cent of Brits said buying in-store was their favourite method of shopping, compared to 43 per cent globally.

However, UK shoppers still have a desire to shop in-store, with 49 per cent of those surveyed saying they missed the social aspect of shopping. While a further 51 per cent said they find the inability to try-on products frustrating.

According to the research, augmented reality is an increasingly popular trend with UK Gen Z shoppers, with a predicted 80 per cent increase in the number who say they will use it in the next five years.

Over half of UK consumers who have already used AR when shopping said it encouraged them to make a purchase.

"For a long time, people thought the internet and technology was a threat to physical retail but this report clearly shows that those who harness the benefits of tech are best placed to thrive post pandemic,” said Ed Couchman, general manager, UK, Nordics and DACH at Snap. “Shoppers want to read reviews, compare prices and try on items using AR - but they also enjoy the experience of going into a shop, speaking to staff, and looking at items.

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