Price is key reason shoppers leave stores empty handed, Displaydata report finds

Price is the number one reason shoppers leave stores empty handed, as bricks and mortar retailers struggle to compete with the frequent price and promotional changes available online, a new report commissioned by Displaydata has revealed.

Price sensitivity is at an all-time high, with cost-conscious consumers willing – and even more digitally enabled – to spend time researching to ensure they are getting the best deal. Displaydata’s study found three quarters (72%) of UK shoppers will check prices online before entering a store, while a third (32%) will look up prices on their mobile device whilst in-store.

UK retailers have responded to this behaviour by increasing the frequency and intensity of their price changes, and placing greater emphasis on promotions. This has led to a further change in shopper behaviour whereby some retailers including John Lewis† are now reporting Black Friday to be their busiest sales week of the year. Indeed UK promotional sales during Black Friday 2014 were over £6,400 per second.

This intensified price competition is driving a gap between channels, as operational and financial constraints leave bricks and mortar stores unable to update prices at the shelf edge as quickly as online. The disparity has not gone unnoticed; 46% of UK consumers believe retailers offer different prices offline and online, while 68% have been deterred from making a purchase in-store because they considered the cost too high.

Displaydata’s report, ‘Getting the In-Store Price Right in a Digital Age’, highlights how stores can meet these pricing challenges by using digital display solutions, such as electronic shelf labels (ESLs), to ensure they get the right price, in the right place, at the right moment, to convert sales.

Andrew Dark, CEO of Displaydata, said: “The ability to check prices anytime, anywhere has created a new mandate for retailers to offer value and consistency across all channels.

“ESLs provide retailers with the agility to create and execute new sales promotions and price changes in store in a matter of seconds. This empowers them to respond quickly to market variables and maximise profits.”