Despite in-store technology being hailed as the saviour of the high street, new research from VoucherCodes.co.uk’s Future of Online Retail Report* reveals UK retailers have a way to go to encourage reluctant consumers to adopt it – with one in four Brits (25 per cent) stating they won’t consider using any in-store technologies whilst shopping.
The Future of Online Retail Report, which examines the multichannel shopping habits of British adults, reveals retailers are better off starting small when it comes to adopting technology on the high street. Despite the recent surge in popularity for in-store augmented reality and digital marketing, mobile technology is actually far more popular amongst consumers. With over half of consumers (51 per cent) using their smartphone whilst out shopping, and half of these (50 per cent) visiting a retail site**, smartphones present a real opportunity for retailers looking to expand their multichannel offering.
Geofencing, a GPS technology which allows retailers to push notifications of offers or promotions to shopper’s smartphones, emerges as a technology set to lead consumers back to the high street. Over a third of shoppers (38 per cent) claim they would like to receive targeted offers to their phone whilst shopping in-store. In contrast, only 16 per cent of Brits say they would make use of virtual reality fitting rooms on the high street and a mere 12 per cent claim they’d engage with digital in-store marketing services, such as NFC and QR codes.
Those aged 25-34 are most open to geofence technology, with almost half (49 per cent) stating they would like offers from retailers delivered to their mobile whilst shopping. However these findings also demonstrate an opportunity to educate over 35s on the benefits of using mobile products while on the high street, with one in three of them (35 per cent) open to using this kind of technology at the moment.
The report also found more familiar technologies such as click and collect and in-store tablets to be very popular. Over half of British consumers (51 per cent) would make use of click and collect hubs on the high street, such as those in Westfield London, and two in five (42 per cent) have already used a click and collect service. One in four British consumers (28 per cent) stated they would use a tablet provided by the retailer whilst shopping, this technology is most popular among those aged 45-54 with one in three of them (31 per cent) interested in using tablets in-store.
Marina McKeever, Director of Sales at VoucherCodes.co.uk comments: “This year is set to be an interesting one for the high street. With ecommerce continuing to make gains over offline shopping, retailers are increasingly looking for innovative ways to attract customers into their physical stores. Many had seen in-store technologies as the way to do this, but with a quarter of Brits stating they won’t use any kind of in-store tech when on the high street retailers should look to other methods of bringing customers back to their physical stores.
“The Future of Online Retail Report’s findings suggest consumers are currently more open to simpler in-store technologies such as geofencing. The fact that 50 per cent of consumers are using their smartphone whilst out shopping demonstrates a real opportunity for retailers to harness the technology in consumer’s pockets, to directly connect with them on the high street without the need to splash out on expensive in-store gadgetry.”
For a copy of the Future of Online Retail Report please contact pr@VoucherCodes.co.uk
Notes to editors:
* Report undertaken by YouGov on behalf of VoucherCodes.co.uk. The survey of 2,180 British adults was conducted between 20th and 22nd January 2014.
** Report undertaken by IMRG for VoucherCodes.co.uk in January 2014 - http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk/press/reports/imrg-report.html#