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Industry News

Published on October 15th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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56% of consumers plan to shop early for Christmas

Fears of product shortages and further lockdowns have prompted 56% of UK consumers to plan for earlier-than-usual holiday shopping this year, according to a survey of 1,000 consumers carried out by independent research firm Censuswide on behalf of experiential relationship management (XRM) platform JRNI.

Further findings from the survey include:

  • 8% have already completed their holiday shopping, driven by fears around the UK’s shortage of HGV drivers and uncertainty about the persistence of COVID-19 restrictions;
  • 64% of shoppers plan to shop in bricks-and-mortar outlets, with 47% citing the importance of human contact in their retail experience;
  • 38% said they would combine online and offline shopping.

The survey also revealed that attitudes toward pre-planned visits to stores had changed among UK shoppers. More than a third (37%) now say they would prefer a more COVID-safe experience in-store, with 30% saying they would now like the ability to control when they visit. In fact, 38% of UK shoppers are now more likely to schedule an in-store appointment than they were before the pandemic, and 55% would prefer to book an appointment than queue due to social distancing measures.

82% of shoppers report a positive in-store appointment-based experience, with 80% reporting the same for virtual or augmented online appointments

38% are more likely to seek out and schedule an in-store appointment than they were prior to the pandemic, with 27% saying any store offering an appointment-based system was taking the safety of customers and staff seriously. 22% thought it was a proactive step for the business to take, and 19% felt it equated to better customer service

 John Federman, CEO at JRNI, said: “Despite the obvious surge in online shopping during the pandemic, a surprising number of consumers are still eager to get back in shops to do their holiday shopping. One key difference is the rise in appointment-based visits which have seen a small boom over the past year.

“With shops already bracing themselves for potential social distancing measures this winter season, they would do well to get appointment-based systems in place to ensure their customers feel safe and aren’t left queuing in the cold. Virtual and augmented appointments have also increased in popularity, so there’s no shortage of ways for both online and offline retailers to make things easy for shoppers this holiday season.”

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