Shoppers crave exciting shopping environments, says new report

Shoppers are crying out for more engaging retail experiences, according to a report from RetailEXPO.

The survey of 2,000 UK shoppers revealed that 64% would shop elsewhere if a retailer didn’t provide an “exciting or engaging shopping environment”.

The research comes at an end of another difficult year for the retail industry, with headlines of store closures continuing to impact the British high street. Half of the respondents believe the burden of business rates and rents means retailers are struggling to innovate and make their stores engaging.

Over half of shoppers (54%) still believe there is a role for retail on the high street, while 68% say the high street would not be the same without retail.

“We know that the experience economy’s value – both in terms of its economic worth but also the value placed on experiences by shoppers – is growing,” said Matt Bradley, event director for RetailEXPO.

“And this presents a key opportunity for stores in delivering value where digital and pureplays simply cannot. If most items can be purchased online, then the store needs to be a desirable destination that offers experience, inspiration, and memorable interactions to create a point of differentiation.”

To improve the in-store experience, 40% of respondents suggested store events would help keep shoppers’ attention on the high street. Those surveyed suggested spin-off events, such as running clubs curated by sportswear brands, or cookery classes from food and beverage retailers. Meanwhile, 28% said in-store events should support green initiatives and a further 28% want events to include the wider community.

To read the full report from RetailEXPO click here.