Christmas shoppers still favour bricks and mortar stores, says new consumer survey

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday over for another year,  a new consumer survey has revealed that high street stores can expect a revival over the coming weeks with nearly half of UK Christmas shoppers still looking to physical stores for gift inspiration and convenience.

This year, retailers should expect a much more volatile shopping pattern from consumers. The majority of respondents in the survey (85 per cent) said they don’t have a set timeframe for gift shopping, but would rather buy on impulse, either during occasional free time in their busy lifestyles, or when they see something they like in the store or online.

Despite the growing accessibility of online and mobile shopping, high street stores remain the cornerstone for British retailing success as nearly half (47 per cent) of UK shoppers say it’s more important for them to shop in store during the Christmas holidays, compared to other times of the year.

Consumers are abandoning the tradition of last minute shopping in the week ahead of Christmas Day, with just nine per cent saying they plan to complete the majority of gift shopping during this time. 

These findings are based on a new survey by RichRelevance, the global leader in omnichannel personalisation. The study surveyed 1,077 consumers across the UK to pick out the trends and themes that will define the in store shopping experience this Christmas.

Other key findings showed that consumers will opt for retailers with time saving and convenience factors, with shoppers citing being able to get items immediately and knowing exactly what they are getting being main reasons to shop in store.

Longer opening hours in the evenings and weekends are also highly favourable, however long queues at the check out are consumers’ biggest frustration. 

“The high street store remains an anchor for Christmas shoppers—whether for inspiration, convenience or immediate purchase gratification,” said Matthieu Chouard, vice president and general manager of EMEA, RichRelevance. “Savvy retailers will recognise the opportunity to leverage their stores to deliver—or exceed—consumer demand for convenience and time savings this holiday season.”