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Northern shoppers feel digitally distanced claims new research

New research from Kin + Carta, the global digital transformation consultancy with its Northern HQ in Manchester, has revealed that 47% of Northern shoppers feel no “connected experience” between in-store and online shopping.

The research found that UK retailers as a whole are falling short when it comes to coherent experiences across their physical and digital footprints, potentially leading to a loss of revenue.

The State of Omnichannel 2023 research found that only 36% of shoppers in the North of England think retailers are doing a good job in this area – such as using data from your in-store purchases to better target you when online shopping and vice versa – the lowest of any region in the country.

The research, conducted with YouGov, surveyed 2,100 consumers and found that 47% in the North have never felt a connected experience between in-store and online experiences when shopping, suggesting a large potential untapped revenue stream.

This loss of income due to disconnected experiences was highlighted by the fact that more than half (58%) of consumers in the North, who have seen an interactive retail experience, said they had “spent more time and money than intended [with retailers] that gave them an immersive retail experience.”

The research also found that 58% of people in the North said that they “didn’t have a positive experience in-store when a retailer used their personal data.”

Further findings from the Kin + Carta/YouGov research show:

  • Retailers are not communicating the benefits of using a smartphone, with 72% of respondents believing that they are not an important part of the shopping experience
  • A quarter (25%) of people in the North spend less than 10% of their time on the phone to shop
  • Most Northern consumers have, ‘never seen an interactive retail experience’, be it in a physical retail store (47%), on a store website (35%) or on a store app (39%)
  • 58% of Northern consumers who are part of a retail loyalty programme access it through its app.

Matt Hildon, retail portfolio director, Kin + Carta, said: “This research paints a stark picture of the gulf between what customers in the North of England want to see to improve their experiences, and what retailers are offering.

“The fact is that customers simply aren’t having cohesive experiences of retail brands between their physical footprint and their digital channels. People will be prepared to spend more if what they experience in-store is as seamless as e-commerce, and if when they shop online it’s as friendly as going to the high street.

“Crafting a fluid retail experience is less about chasing the latest technologies and more about understanding customers’ needs. Yes, in some cases interactive tech advances like touchscreens and augmented reality will help, but it has to fit what people want.

“Customers want retailers to provide a better experience that feels the same whether they’re shopping online or in person. That’s why so many retail brands are looking to upgrade their data infrastructure, aiming to better parse the information they have and generate more useful insights into how shoppers think and behave.”

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