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One in four high street shoppers buy online instead

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One in four high street shoppers who leaves a store empty-handed completes their purchase on the internet instead.

That’s the findings of new research carried out by retail consultancy Envirosell and RichRelevance. Researchers quizzed shoppers coming out of London shops including Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Primark and BhS, and find that almost half left a shop without buying.

But of those who didn’t buy, a quarter planned to go online to continue shopping for the product.

A similar survey in New York produced identical results in this area.

But the two differed in that New Yorkers were more likely to go onto the internet to research products. A third of London shoppers said they did research items online. But 85% of New Yorkers said they had already compared prices online before going to the store.

Envirosell founder and chief executive Paco Underhill said: “Retailers in the UK are starting to face the same challenges as their US counterparts. In the 20th century, marketers and merchandisers determined what the consumer would buy. The growth of the Internet has meant that the consumer is now not only more empowered, but often three or four steps ahead.”

David Seinger, chief executive of RichRelevance, which provides dynamic e-commerce personalisation, said: “In the last few years, consumers have drastically changed the way they shop.

“Multichannel retailing is still in its infancy, but retailers need to ensure that they can accommodate complex customer behaviour no matter where customers interact with them – whether online, in store, via a mobile app or over a phone.”

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