Shopper priorities report: consumers want affordability, service and hygiene
There are three ‘Cs’ UK consumers look for — '(low) cost, customer service and cleanliness’ — when they go shopping, according to Colliers' Midsummer Retail Report.
When asked what would influence consumers to spend at stores, affordability and customer service scored 13 times higher than any other considerations, according to the findings from YouGov which carried out the research for the property consultants.
Meanwhile cleanliness, clearly a legacy of the pandemic, is high on the list as it has now become an important aspect of the shopping experience.
Paul Matthews, co-head of Retail Strategy at Colliers said: "After more than two years of restrictions on how and where they shopped, UK shoppers have emerged with a new set of attitudes and priorities.
“Whilst the habits of mask wearing and social distancing are diminishing, there is clearly a new emphasis on cleanliness and this has ramifications for retailers and also the landlords of shopping centres and retail parks."
He added: “As the costs of living crisis bites, it's understandable that there is a new focus on affordability. This should be positive news for the UK's value and discount retailers in the shor -term, but also a call to action for all occupiers and landlords to reflect on their strategies and ensure that there are ongoing changes in consumer behaviours and expectations.”
The survey also makes it clear that if people are going to be coaxed away from online retailing and back to stores, they want excellent customer service. This may pose a challenge for retailers trying to manage their costs and struggling to find staff.
David Fox, co-head of Colliers' Retail team added: “Interestingly, the research shows that there is a growing trend for people to research products online but then purchase them in a store. It shows the importance of physical stores where people can see, feel and try products and to speak to someone about them face-to-face. This trend will only be encouraged as more retailers charge for returning items via couriers, but promote in-store returns and exchanges.”
The survey asked people about the importance of different channels when thinking about buying anything and looking at overall net importance (those who think it's important minus those who don't). The results revealed that researching online and buying in-store had a significantly higher net importance compared to browsing in store and buying online (37 vs. one per cent).
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