Tech upgrades may not be the first step that UK brick-and-mortar retailers take to upgrade the in-store experience.
September 2017 polling by Opinium Research LLP for Barclaycard Business asked retail decision-makers about the steps they had taken to improve their in-store shopping experience. The upgrades tended to focus on simple physical changes, rather than tech-oriented solutions.
For instance, while 58% said they had introduced faster payment options, even more said that they increased the variety and amount of stock they kept on hand.
About half had introduced several other nondigital improvements, among them changing store hours on a Sunday (51%), rearranging the store’s layout (50%) or giving shoppers at physical stores deals that were unavailable online (49%).
In contrast, technology-based efforts, such as in-store tablets for shoppers to check stock availability, were enacted by just 33% of respondents.
According to a parallel survey of UK internet users conducted during the Barclaycard Business study, pushing shoppers to stores has tangible benefits. The poll found that 25% of respondents made a purchase almost every time they visited a physical store, compared with 12% who did the same during store website visits.