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Shop Flaws: Consumers demand a more digital high street experience

More than 6 in 10 say they’ll shop elsewhere if tech isn’t up to scratch; 75% say Amazon or eBay would become their favourite high street store

Fujitsu UK & Ireland

  • 2 in 5 say they often experience poor tech in-store
  • 75% say they can get more information than staff using their phones; 73% say they can get it faster
  • 8 in 10 say they would spend more with retailers that have a better technology offering
London, May 03, 2017

Technology in UK high street stores is failing to match the online shopping experience and customers are demanding better. This is according to Fujitsu’s new research, The Forgotten Shop Floor, which found 4 in 10 consumers are frequently disappointed by in-store technology. And while the benefits of investing in better digital tools are clear (61% would choose one retailer over another based on the quality of in-store technology), doing nothing is simply not an option: three quarters of shoppers would choose Amazon or eBay over traditional high street names if either had a physical store.

Shoppers are demanding a more digital high street experience; almost half say in-store tech today is slow (42%), over a third say it is unreliable (37%), while a quarter say there simply isn’t enough to handle demand. As a result, three quarters say they can access more information than retail employees and 73% say they can get it quicker, leaving two thirds (65%) of employees using their own devices to try to bridge the gap.

“Today the next wave of digital disruption is happening in-store. Ecommerce has altered our expectations of the high street and we now expect physical channels to reflect digital ones and be engaging, personalised and hassle-free,” said Rupal Karia, MD, Retail and Hospitality, Fujitsu UK & Ireland. “The digital pace of change is faster than ever. Consumers will embrace retailers who can give them the experience they want, before they know they want it. The message is clear: consumers are prepared to spend more with the retailers that deliver digital, and leave those that don’t.”

Despite today’s digital shop flaws, retailers are making progress with the digital store, with 98% of employees embracing the tech introduced so far. For those that are willing to implement technology, there are economic benefits; nearly six in 10 (58%) consumers say they have chosen to buy a product due to a better in-store technology experience, while 79% say a better experience would make them likely to spend more money.

In future the brick and mortar store is unlikely to disappear with consumers envisaging a store of the future where technology is used to deliver an even more complete and compelling experience:

  • Almost half (45%) would most like to see personalised offers sent to them while they are in store
  • One third (33%) would most like to see smart mirrors displaying additional information about products
  • 24% of consumers would want stores to be able to deliver goods directly to a connected car, while 22% would prefer augmented reality displays

“Despite the gloomiest predictions, the high street continues to hold a place in UK shoppers’ hearts,” continued Karia. “The store holds more and greater opportunities than ever, but only for retailers that are prepared to embrace the digital pace of change. The clock is ticking and technology, customers and competitors are poised to move forward. Retailers must embrace digital now to secure their place in the future of the high street.”

“Since the rise of ecommerce, retailers have focused too much on digitally enabling their customers online rather than their employees in-store – and it’s time for that to change,” said Phil Pavitt, Global CIO, Specsavers. “At Specsavers, our aim is to use digital to deliver exceptional ‘retail theatre’ for customers in our stores, by equipping our team with fast, powerful and engaging technology. But it’s not just what you use, it’s how you use it. No one store can outdo the entire high street: whether you’re a coffee shop or a jeweller, it’s about picking the three best technologies for you and then really making them work for customers and colleagues. With Amazon and other disruptors on the horizon, it’s up to every retailer to move ahead on their digital journey, or be left behind.”

Read the full report.

Notes to editors

Data for this study on in-store technology was gathered by Coleman Parkes, an independent research consultancy. 1,000 consumers and 1,000 employees from retailers with an annual turnover of £25m+ from across the United Kingdom took part in an online survey between December 2016 and January 2017.

A note on “in-store technology”

To keep respondents focused on new and upcoming systems and services, we asked them to answer with the following interpretation of “in-store technology” in mind: “in-store technologies should be defined as mobile tablets, mobile points of sale (excluding static till points), smart checkouts, digital enquiry point, self-checkouts, mobile stock monitoring applications and devices.”

Statistics of interest

  • The most popular technologies being used instore by employees are smart check out (56%), mobile stock monitoring (54%) and mobile point of sale (48%)
  • 89% of employees use technology 2-3 times a day or more
  • 56% of consumers use tech every time they go instore or once a week
  • 41% of consumers experience poor instore technology ‘quite often’, ‘very often’ or ‘every time they go instore’
  • 70% of employees admit customers can sometimes access more information than them using their own devices, and 72% say consumers can access information more quickly
  • 65% of employees use their own device on the shop floor to do their job more effectively
  • Consumers see the main role of the high street as browsing for products (49%) and the instore experience (30%)
  • 75% of consumers would trust Amazon or eBay to provide a better instore tech experience than their usual high street stores
  • 75% believe that if Amazon or eBay had a physical store, they would quickly become their preferred place to shop
  • 79% of consumers say a more positive experience of instore tech (like personalised vouchers) would make them more likely to spend more money in store
  • The most popular instore technologies that consumers would like to see introduced are personalised offers sent instore (45%), smart mirrors (33%) and stores delivering purchases directly to their car through IoT (24%). Many consumers would also like to see VR technology (22%) and advanced biometric payments (19%)

For more information about Fujitsu’s partnership with Specsavers, please see the press release.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 155,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$40 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu in the UK & Ireland

Fujitsu employs over 14,000 people in the UK & Ireland, with total revenues exceeding £1.8 billion. Offering an integrated product and service portfolio, we deliver consulting, applications, technology products, systems integration and managed services, including cloud-based solutions, for customers across both public and private sectors, including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, defence and consumer IT. For more information, please see http://uk.fujitsu.com.

Emily Thurston

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 20 7861 2839
E-mail: E-mail: teamfujitsu@harvard.co.uk

Graham Goulden

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 843 354 9568
E-mail: E-mail: graham.goulden@uk.fujitsu.com
Company:Fujitsu UK & Ireland

Date: 03 May, 2017
City: London