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Shoppers still loyal to High Street but demand improvements

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4th Jun 2013
Contributor MyCustomer.com
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Consumer pessimism around the UK’s economic state may be worrying retailers but new research has revealed that shoppers are still loyal to their local High Street.

According to the figures from Groupon’s survey of 1,000 shoppers, 26% of Brits shop on the High Street once a week whilst another third (40%) do so once a month.

However, whilst consumer appetite for shopping locally still exists, an overwhelming number of shoppers are calling for a better experience when purchasing on the High Street. The figures showed that 87% think that improvements should be made to their local high street with 40% claiming ‘a lot’ needs to be improved.

Half (48%) of respondents said this could be achieved with a better range of independent businesses and retailers to choose from, whilst 40% want to see regeneration of the whole area.

Additionally, shoppers said that they want to see High Street businesses offering more discounts and loyalty schemes (79%), efficient (79%) and personalised (61%) customer service; and to be able to order in specific items that might not immediately be in stock, the survey showed.

So what exactly are consumers shopping at their local stores for? The figures showed that the majority visit the High Street to do their grocery shopping (57%), followed by eating out (56%) and beauty treatments (52%).

Roy Blanga, MD at Groupon UK, said: “It’s heartening to know that British shoppers still have a connection with their local high street and use independent shops and businesses for their everyday needs. However, to keep them coming back, continued investment is needed to modernise these areas and ensure they’re appealing to shoppers.

“At the same time, business owners should also be thinking about how to make their offer stand out both on and offline to deliver better value and customer service. This two-pronged approach is vital if our high streets are to flourish.”

This research will bring much relief to retailers following the recent warning from the Centre for Retail Research that one in five high street shops will close over the next five years as more consumers turn to online shopping. 

Epsilon also recently revealed that UK consumers are leading the online purchasing revolution with the highest average e-commerce spend per shopper in the world, reaching $3,878 in 2013.

Such figures are dramatically impacting retailers' optimism, now at an all-time-low as many predict poor sales and the decline of physical stores, caused by the ‘showrooming’ effect.

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