More than half of all items purchased by UK shoppers, where the item value exceeds £20, are bought online and routed through retailers’ home delivery networks.
This is one of the findings published today by Savvy, the retail and shopper marketing agency, from its latest multichannel shopper research.
Goods priced at £20 and above were bought online (for home delivery) by 53% of respondents in the survey, with 39% buying in-store, and only 8% opting for click-and-collect services. The study was carried out by an independent online research panel across a representative sample of 1,000 UK shoppers, and focussed exclusively on non-food retailing.
Savvy also found that when making purchases over £20, shoppers use an average of 2.2 sources of research and as the cost of a product increases, so too does the number of sources they are likely to consult.
It also highlights the ongoing importance of a network of physical stores, as almost half of shoppers said they had visited stores as part of their purchase research and fact-finding processes, something highlighted previously by eDelivery (Stores are the new black: go omnichannel or go home).
Alastair Lockhart, insight director at Savvy Marketing said: “Increasingly, media-rich retailer websites, the rise of social media, and more flexible delivery options are making online shopping more and more compelling for shoppers. Spending plans span both online and stores, as well as overlapping between them – shoppers have become channel-agnostic and are prolific in their use of each and all. Smartphones too play an important role, particularly amongst younger shoppers.”
Key findings included:
- Retailers themselves are the most popular source for research with 51% of shoppers using their sites for this purpose
- 49% of shoppers visited stores for research purposes
- 22% of shoppers used product manufacturers’ websites
- 17% use blogs and third-party websites for research
- Only 6% of shoppers use social media for research
- 90% of clothing shoppers want 360-degree images of products and 88% want the ability to zoom in on fabrics
- 60% of clothing shoppers also want video content featuring the products (e.g. catwalks) – something that can increase dwell time and improve propensity to buy.
The research also looked at the shopping habits of shoppers aged 18-34 years old, currently represent 31% of all UK shoppers. It found that 90% of so-called Generation Y have bought online in the past six months, and that 93% of these shoppers own a smartphone.
Concluding on the research findings Lockhart said: “The growth of digital naturally raises questions about the future of physical ‘high street’ retailing, but the bricks and mortar stores will always have an important role to play because they offer immediate gratification and because shopping remains a key leisure activity and a source of enjoyment for many. That said, the role of stores and high streets is evolving.
“As online increases retail capacity, stores need to fight harder to attract footfall and give shoppers clear reasons to visit above and beyond what a pure online experience can offer. Retail theatre has never been so important. Delivering that experience is expensive though so realistically can only work effectively if investment is concentrated into fewer, larger stores. We’re already seeing this happening and it’s driving a concentration of retail centres. Major cities like London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Glasgow continue to attract investment, footfall and shopper spend, while secondary centres are often seeing footfall diminish. This trend is set to continue.”