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Guess who is successfully mounting resistance against the rise of online shopping?

by on January 3, 2013 in Apps, FaceBook, featured item, Google, iPhone, Lead story, LinkedIn, Metrics, Mobile Marketing, Pinterest, Research, Retail, Retail News, Small Business, Startups, Twitter

A YouGov report released today reveals that some sections of the British high street are successfully mounting resistance against the rise of online shopping, but that there are innovations that could further increase their appeal.

Only 12% of respondents to the Steria commissioned survey said they were more likely to buy groceries or DIY equipment online rather than in-store. For health and beauty products the response was slightly larger, at 13% and 16% for furniture and home wares.

On the other hand, the goods and services that consumers are most likely to buy online include travel (58% of people surveyed), insurance (52%), music (51%), film / TV series (48%) and electronics (39%).

In addition, the research highlighted the multi-channel innovations that would drive customers to a particular store, this included 35% who were in favour of click and collect and 31% of shoppers who would be keen to locate items before arriving in-store.

LONDON, UK – 3rd January 2013: Research released today by Steria, the IT and business services provider, reveals that some sections of the British high street are successfully mounting resistance against the rise of online shopping.  Steria commissioned YouGov to explore the public’s attitudes towards shopping and marketing through a variety of on- and offline channels.

Despite a steady stream of reports pointing to the continued growth of internet and mobile commerce and advertising, the research found that the vast majority of consumers remain wedded to the high street for a significant proportion of their retail needs.  Furthermore, there was a clear appetite among the public for technological innovation to be brought into the high street retail experience.

The future shape of the high street

The research provides a revealing insight into the type of shops that are likely to survive and prosper on the UK high street.  Recent years have seen a host of high-profile retailers disappear from our town centres with bookstores, music, film and games retailers and consumer electronics stores all suffering.

However, the survey shows that other high street retailers offering DIY equipment, health and beauty or furniture and home wares are more immune to the pressures of internet shopping.  There are only a limited range of goods and services that the majority of consumers were more likely to buy online: top among this list were travel (58% of people surveyed), insurance (52%), music (51%), film / TV series (48%) and electronics (39%).  In contrast, only 12% of respondents were more likely to buy groceries or DIY equipment online, 13% health and beauty products or 16% furniture and home wares.

Desire for technological innovation on the high street

However, the research did show that, while many consumers still look to the high street to address their retail needs, they would welcome a number of technological innovations to improve the experience:

  • 40% of respondents said they’d like to be sent offers and discounts on their mobile device, online or in-store in real-time (i.e. instantly), depending on the items already in their basket
  • 69% said they’d like loyalty schemes that are more personalised, where rewards and offers are unique and based on their preferences or transaction history’
  • 33% said they’d like the ability to use their mobile as a personal shopping companion in-store (e.g. receiving information on products, promotions, checking previous purchases, etc.)

Importantly, some of these innovations could not only deliver customer loyalty but also additional revenue. A significant percentage of participants said they would shop more at a particular store if it offered the following services:

  • 35% – Click and collect
  • 31% – Locate the products in-store before you arrive
  • 29% –  Build a shopping list online or on a mobile phone with pre-ordered goods waiting for you when they arrive at store

“Despite a number of high profile causalities, today’s findings indicate that there is plenty of life left in the British high street,” said Geraint Evans, multichannel director at Steria UK.

“While the internet has clearly chipped away at the sales of physical stores, we now know that we are not facing the inexorable march to digital that many predicted. There are many items which consumers still prefer to buy in person, particularly groceries, DIY equipment, health and beauty products and furniture.

However, it’s also clear from our research that consumers would welcome innovations brought from the web to improve the retail experience on Britain’s high streets. For a sector looking to re-establish growth in wake of a double dip recession, offering the option of innovative services like click and connect and easy product location could be significant.”


About Steria

Steria delivers IT enabled business services which help organisations in the public and private sectors operate more efficiently and profitably. By combining in depth understanding of our clients’ businesses with expertise in IT and business process outsourcing, we take on our clients’ challenges and develop innovative solutions to address them. Through our highly collaborative consulting style, we work with our clients to transform their business, enabling them to focus on what they do best. Our 20,000 people, working across 16 countries, support the systems, services and processes that make today’s world turn, touching the lives of millions around the globe each day.

Founded in 1969, Steria has offices in Europe, India, North Africa and SE Asia and 2011 revenues of €1.75 billion. 21%(*) of Steria’s capital is owned by its employees. Headquartered in Paris, Steria is listed on the Euronext Paris market.


photo credit: Leather fashion fashionista via photopin cc

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