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BizReport : Research archives : February 19, 2008

British shoppers frustrated with offline shopping experiences

Limited stock, crowded stores and poor customer service are driving more and more British shoppers away from the High Street stores and online, according to recent research by Accenture.

by Helen Leggatt

Over half (55 percent) of around 1,000 British consumers surveyed by Accenture stated that High Street shops don’t have enough check-outs open and 49 percent said the product they wanted was often out of stock. These are just two of the reasons that shoppers in the U.K. are increasingly turning their backs on the High Street and staying home to shop online.

The Internet is now an integral part of a shopper’s experience. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed by Accenture researched prices online (71 percent), 44 percent check stock availability in their most convenient or best-priced store and 67 percent research product information before buying offline.

Retailers must ensure that their on- and offline presence best represents their offerings and service, and that their inventories are accurate. Many shoppers will switch to another store or go back to the Internet to research if they do not find exactly what they want, at the price expected, on the High Street.

“Retailers know that issues such as poor customer service and out-of-stock products frustrate their customers, but what is shocking is that only a small number of successful retailers translate this customer insight into meaningful operational customer service improvements across their retail and product channels,” said Richard Wildman, head of Accenture’s retail practice in the U.K.

Tags: bricks-and-mortar, customer service, High Street, online shopping

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