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Shopper experience better in-store than online - with one exception - finds RetailExpo research

Shoppers have a better customer experience in-store than they do online – with one exception, according to new research from RetailEXPO.

The event, part of the same parent company as Retail Design World, commissioned exclusive research involving 2,000 consumers, for its report One Vision: How to Re-Energise Retail in 2019 And Beyond. Customers were asked to rate the customer experience provided by both physical and online retailers.

Grocery retailers dominated the poll when it came to in-store experience, with 23 per cent placing Tesco in first place. Sainsbury’s (18 per cent), Asda (17 per cent), M&S (15 per cent) and Aldi and Morrisons (both 14 per cent) made up the top five.

The physical stores trump online competitors – except for Amazon, which scored 28 per cent. The next best score for online experience was 9 per cent, for Argos.

Department stores fared relatively poorly for the physical in-store experience they provide, with an average score of 7 per cent. The in-store experience at fashion retailers was worse, at an average score of just 3 per cent.

“From a store format perspective grocers, such as Sainsbury’s, have looked at mixed-use formats by introducing fashion, beauty and wellness concepts to become quasi department stores, in order to deliver convenience,” says RetailEXPO event director Matt Bradley. “And more widely, retailres are looking to redefine the in-store environment to include experiences as well as product in order to engage shoppers who want blended retail and leisure.”

Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of respondents to the research say they spend more money and time in stores that offer a blend of product and engaging experience, with 70 per cent willing to shop elsewhere if retailers don’t meet their expectations.

In the case of online retail, consumers seem to be using Amazon as a benchmark against which other online retailers fall short. More than a third (37 per cent) of research participants want retailers’ websites to have the same capabilities as Amazon, with frictionless one-click payments a priority for 23 per cent. A third are red up with retailer website loading times.

Download One Vision: How to Re-Energise Retail in 2019 And Beyond.