Almost half of shoppers (41%) have ditched the high street because of long queues, a survey by retail technology firm jisp has found. Consumers also cited difficulty locating products (19%) and unknowledgeable staff (15%) as the main deterrents of visiting traditional stores.
The survey that polled 1000 UK consumers also revealed that shoppers are demanding an increased use of the latest technology to tempt them back to the high street. Almost a quarter (24%) of consumers call for retailers to adopt better payment technology, while over a third (37%) expect to be able to see what’s in stock in real-time.
“Despite the fact that fewer of us now shop in bricks and mortar stores, lower staffing levels often mean there are still queues at the pay desk, which can be frustrating. In this age when payments can be made instantly with a mobile phone, for example, these delays seem like a relic of the past to busy shoppers – and another reason to shop online,” says Julian Fisher, jisp CEO.
The poll also highlighted that despite its shortfalls, 15% of respondents value the fact that a high street shopping trip avoids the delivery charges and waiting times associated with online shopping. Similarly, 13% believe it is easier to see what is available in a traditional store compared to browsing online.
The survey did bring some better news for high street retailers though. Almost a half (48%) of those polled said that the ability to touch and feel products was the biggest benefit to in-store shopping, although 39% admit they rarely speak to shop assistants for product information.
“It is vital for retailers to take heed of these results and make some big changes to tempt consumers back to the high street. Making it easier for customers to pay for their goods and adopting new technology to do so should be at the top of the agenda. Retailers should also focus on the elements of the shopping experience that are unique to stores, such as the ability to touch and try on items, which can’t be paralleled online,” adds Fisher.