As long queues, disappearing stock and impersonal service cause tensions to boil over on the high street during the annual festive shopping spree, research by Worldpay, the UK’s leading payments processor, reveals just under a third of UK Christmas shoppers have found themselves involved in an argument and even coming to blows with a stranger.
Brits may be famous for queuing, but shoppers singled out waiting in line as a major flash point during the busiest period of the year for Britain’s retailers. Worldpay found in-store tensions begin to rise after just five minutes stood in a queue, with of consumers claiming anything in excess of a five minute wait would see them abandon their purchase and head out of the door for good.
Demanding consumers also take a dim view of retailers who run out stock, with a third (33%) saying they’d be unlikely to give a store a second chance if it failed to supply the item they were looking for. And while two thirds (66%) of shoppers say they check the internet if an item’s out of stock in-store, they admit they’re just as likely to buy from a competitor once they’re left to their own devices online.
With Christmas shopping season now in full-swing, Worldpay has teamed up with renowned retail psychologist Tim Denison to show how technology is helping the high street evolve to deliver the type of personalised, convenient and stress-free in-store experience today’s discerning shopper expects.
Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail, said: “Technology is transforming the face of in-store retailing at a pace and breadth that we simply haven’t seen before. It’s changing the ways that consumers and retailers are engaging with one another. Selling to the mass market is fast becoming a thing of the past. Retailers are now able to offer personalised services not just on line, but in store, making smart recommendations on goods that will appeal to every shopper, so fostering closer connections with them.
“In this fast living, digital age, shoppers have never been so open to changes that lead to more rewarding, enhanced and interactive experiences. They also want the freedom to shop at the time and place and in the ways that suit them best. These are exciting times for the retail sector. To think that technology will be the enabler to resurrect customer service, negate the need to queue and avoid the inconvenience of out of stock situations is something that both shopper and retailer will welcome with relish, particularly at Christmas time.”
Worldpay’s new mobile point of sale device, Worldpay Total Mobile, is one of several current and emerging technologies selected by Denison and rendered in an artist’s impression of what the store of the future might look like.
Dave Hobday, managing director, Worldpay UK and Ireland, said: “There’s no better sales opportunity than when a prospective customer walks into your store with a faint look of panic in their eyes. This is the best time to spring into action by offering advice, making recommendations and closing a sale – but how can staff do this if they’re marooned behind a till?
“Mobile payment devices move staff from behind the checkout onto the shop-floor, where they can be far more effective as a salesforce. Not only does the technology reduce queues by allowing staff to take payments anywhere in-store, it also links directly to ecommerce so out-of-stock items can be ordered and paid for before a customer leaves the store.”