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Flawed customer experiences cost British retailers £102 billion

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Flawed customer experiences – from running out of stock to queues and lack of payment options – cost British retailers up to £102 billion in lost sales each year.

Research from Adyen, paired with 451 Research’s Global Unified Commerce Forecast, found that running out of stock in-store is the biggest contributor to lost revenue, costing retailers £14.8 billion each year.Adyen’s researchfound that four out of five (79%) Brits would not return to make a purchase if they went into a store only to find their desired item was out-of-stock.

Queues in-store are the second biggest source of lost revenues, costing retailers up to £11.3 billion each year. Two thirds of Brits (66%) have abandoned their purchase and left a store because of long queues in the past six months. Only 22% said they would return to the store later or make a purchase on another channel.

Failing to create a link between online and offline stores, not offering a variety of payment options, a lack of contextual commerce experiences, not personalizing offers and outdated payment systems are the other customer experience factors that contribute to lost revenue for retailers.

Adyen also asked consumers how retailers could improve the customer experience. They found that accepting contactless payments (68%) was the top priority, while enabling people to skip queues by paying for items in-store via mobile app (55%) and accepting digital wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay (54%) were second and third.

Enabling customers to check a store’s stock levels online (51%), offering buy now and pay later options (50%) and saving payments details on file to speed up the checkout process (48%) also ranked highly.

Myles Dawson, UK Managing Director of Adyen comments:“While trading conditions are undoubtedly challenging and it can be hard for retailers to keep up, the shopping experience is lacking in the eyes of the consumer. Fortunately, some of these elements can be addressed, particularly when it comes to one of the biggest pain points – stores running out of stock. Creating an endless aisle by linking physical stores with ecommerce channels will help shoppers avoid disappointment by enabling them to check stock levels before they go into a store.

“Ultimately, these figures show that the physical store still has a vital role to play in retail. But it needs to be supported by digital and online channels. Those retailers that link their online and offline sales channels to create a unified experience for customers can capitalise on a £102 billion opportunity.”  

The study comes hot on the heels of research by Adobethat also found that consumers demand better customer experience from retailers. Surveying 3000 shoppers across Europe, it found that a poor customer experience has a significant impact on a brand’s reputation, with more than a third (36%) of people across the UK, France and Germany saying they were likely to discuss a poor brand experience with friends or family. Conversely, done well and proper digital experience on any channel could delight as many as 57% of shoppers.

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