How do online stores affect retailers in the UK?

It’s hard to ignore the impact that online shopping is having on retail and our shopping experiences, but is it necessarily for the better? A common retailing technique that is overlooked is matching the level of service provided in store with a fully equipped website. With this in mind, we put out a poll to find out how a retailers’ online presence affects a customer’s perception and potential sales.

We sent out a poll with a series of questions regarding their opinions on retailers and how they are performing with a seamless branded experience.

Firstly, we asked 1610 participants whether they receive a consistent experience when shopping in a store or online with the same retailer. Interestingly, over ¾ of the consumers participating in this poll say that they get a consistent experience in store or online with the same retailer. With specifically 1229 consumers responding positively to the poll, it appears many of the UK’s retailers are acknowledging the importance and benefits to making the retail experience uniform no matter how their customers shop. This also may suggest that if retailers do not attempt to keep up with the changing times, it could potentially harm their sales and their business overall.

Our second question to our consumers asked if they would stop buying from a retailers online store if the website was difficult to navigate. This was sent to 1660 consumers, and 1293 responded yes. That’s nearly 78% of consumers acknowledging that if a retailer had a poorly structured website, they would no longer be an active customer with their store. This means retailers need to ensure if they do want to have online services they have to get it right. It can sometimes be advised to leave website maintenance till last, or cut corners by using cheaper options when optimising your site. But our poll clearly shows how much more business a retailer could receive with a fully functioning and uniform website.

Finally, we wanted to see how the ratings of products online would affect the consumers opinion on products. We sent a poll to 1601 consumers asking if a product was listed online without a rating or review, if it would potentially put them off buying it. Surprisingly, the responses were nearly split exactly in half. 48.34% answered yes and the remaining 51.66% answered no. There are a number of factors that may come into play here. Firstly it’s clear that with the way online retail has been established if you trust the retailer, you will inherently trust the products purchased from their site. It is also apparent that if a retailer is starting out a new website, the lack of reviews may not affect the sales as much as you may think.

From the results of the polls, it is clear that in order for a retailer to fully optimise their customer experience, they should strongly consider a website to sell their products on. And if this is something they have already invested in, they should insure that they are keeping the site user friendly to increase traffic. 

If you want to make sure your business online experience is up to standards why not try mystery shopping? , click here for more information.