Quarter of British consumers still prefer in-person shopping experience

Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

A quarter of British consumers said they would be more likely to buy items they find challenging to buy online if they could ask questions and get advice in-person.

The data comes from new research by ecommerce tech firm Ve Global and it also found the products consumers find most difficult to buy online.

Clothing was considered the most challenging category of products to buy online, ranking first amongst the 2,014 respondents 27% of the time, followed by groceries at 21%, vehicles at 20%, and home furniture at 16%.

Ve Global also asked the reasons why these products are difficult to buy online, compared to in-store, revealing that British consumers are missing aspects of the in-person shopping experience.

Top reasons for struggling with these products included difficulty browsing for products online (25%), confusing product specifications (21%) and not being able to ask a sales assistant for guidance or advice (21%).

Consumers missed getting help from sales assistants most when shopping online for white goods (37%), consumer electronics (37%), vehicles (29%) and beauty products (26%), which are typically considered high value purchases or long term investments.

When asked what would help them make purchases online, 31% of respondents said detailed product descriptions would be beneficial, whilst the ability to tailor research results alongside the means to discover other relevant products were both cited by 20% of those asked.

Jack Wearned, CEO at Ve Global, said: “With the return of in-store shopping, and the personal service it brings, consumers looking for products that they find difficult to buy online will be the first to ditch the laptop for the high street.

So having a website alone isn’t enough for online retailers to compete for considered purchases. Adaptable brands are experimenting with technology to make online shopping even more convenient. Brands that can reimagine the in-store sales assistant online will enable customers to get the guidance they need to discover and choose products, and importantly get the same premium experience they’re used to getting in-store.”

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Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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