European consumers want shops of the future to provide a seamless online and in-store experience, finds CBRE

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European consumers want the online and in-store shopping experience to be entirely integrated with greater use of technology on the high street, according to CBRE, the world’s leading global real estate advisor.

In a pan-European study of more than 13,000 consumers, commissioned by CBRE with Ipsos Mori, more than eight in 10 (84%) consumers want shops of the future to offer exactly the same services in-store as available online – for example, being able to return online purchases in-store.

When asked what other services consumers would want from their retail experience in the future, eight in 10 (83%) cited the offer of free same-day home delivery for in-store purchases and being able to order in-store for home delivery (80%).

With the latest market data showing online spending has risen 3.2% year-on-year, it’s apparent that consumers increasingly see little distinction between how they use technology to shop online and their expectations of the in-store experience. According to the CBRE study, one in two of those surveyed say that they would find it appealing if shops introduced more technology, such as interactive displays that react to movement or augmented reality to ‘test’ a product before buying in-store.

The survey found consumers want technology to also improve the relationship they have with brands. More than two thirds (68%) of respondents said that they find the idea of personalised offers based on individual shopping habits or behaviours appealing.

Andrew Phipps, head of retail research, EMEA, CBRE, said: “This research outlines the valuable opportunity available to retailers who are able to capitalise on consumer trends by providing seamless online and in-store experiences.

“Investment in the online business must go hand-in-hand with in-store, realising the potential that technology creates to deepen relationships with customers.”

The consumer attitude and retail logistics research was launched to coincide with the British Council of Shopping Centres annual conference 2016.