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Decline of in-store sales show need for adoption of mobile technology, experts warn

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High street spending in the run-up to Christmas saw sales increase at the slowest rate since 2012, but innovative mobile technology could hold the answer to combating this challenge and help retailers reduce the friction in a retail environment and create the very best of customer experience – and increase in-store conversion rate.

So suggests the study by Censuswide, which on behalf of Qmatic surveyed 1,370 consumers over the age of 16 across the UK to find out some of the issues that put consumers off about shopping in-store during the Golden-Quater period.

The survey finds today that 50% of UK shoppers reported that long lines for the till have played as a contributing factor as to why costumers abandoned their shopping in the brick-and-mortar store. While almost a third (30%) cited shops not having the items they wanted in stock as the reason for avoiding the high street at Christmas.

While the grocery sector performed well, the non-food sector is really struggling. Sales of non-food items slumped dramatically, with 3.7% declining on a total basis and 4.4% on a like-to-like basis, the worst performer since 2012.

As we see several mainstays of the British retail market, such as Debenhams and New Look, report another poor set of financial results, it is clear retailers must look for new ways of working and doing business if they are to stop this decline.

Vanessa Walmsley, managing director at Qmatic says that it is critical for retailers to look at innovative mobile technology, as part of a broader customer journey management strategy, to ensure that that they are providing a smooth, friction-free experience for their customers.

“Solutions such as ‘Click and Collect’ services and mobile checkouts are exciting options for retailers that can enable consumers to shop in the way that suits them best,” she says. “With a real focus on creating the best experience, retailers will give themselves the best possible chance of boosting their sales and generating lasting customer loyalty to their brand.”

A comprehensive customer journey management strategy, which includes ‘Click and Collect’ services that allow customers to order products, which might be out of stock, to the store for collection at a convenient time, can help to reduce friction. Mobile technology can also help to reduce in-store friction, enabling the customer to connect to service or scan a product with their phone and pay automatically, so that those shoppers who just want to buy a couple of items can get in and out of the store quickly, without having to queue at a till.


Photo credit: Stanisic Vladimir (Fotolia)


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