High street problems send shoppers to the web

High street problems send shoppers to the web

Poor service and product selection in stores are driving increase in online shopping, says research

Limited product offerings and poor customer service in the high street are increasing online shopping in the UK, according to research by Accenture.

Some 55 per cent of the 1,000 UK consumers polled felt that shops did not have enough tills open, while 49 per cent said the products they want are often out of stock.

“Retailers know that issues such as poor customer service and out-of-stock products frustrate their customers,” said Accenture UK head of retail Richard Wildman.

“But what is shocking is that only a small number of successful retailers translate this customer insight into meaningful operational customer service improvements across their retail and product channels,” he said.

UK consumers are becomingly increasingly savvy about the benefits of web shopping, having spent £130bn online last year alone.

And even when shopping on the high street, consumers use the internet as an aid to compare prices (71 per cent), check stock availability (44 per cent) and research products before buying them in a physical store (67 per cent).

Businesses with an online presence need to be aware that the web has become an extension of the in-store shopping experience, said Wildman.

“Retailers need to make sure that if their web site says they have a product, it really is on their shelves and not out of stock,” he said.