Before hitting the high street in search of gifts this Christmas, most people will have done their research online. That’s according to a new online survey among 1,025 UK adults age 18+, commissioned by Salesforce UK and conducted by Harris Poll (see the full infographic at the end of this article). Among store shoppers, not only do the vast majority (87%) research products on the internet, but over four fifths (83%) also compare prices too. Retailers today have to reckon with consumers being pretty clued up on where they can get the best deal.

Yet the research also reveals that while many consumers choose to map out their shopping itinerary in advance, they also want shopping for Christmas gifts on the high street to be a journey of excitement and discovery. According to the findings, a number of shoppers are turning to technology while they are in-store to help them find the perfect item, and bag a bargain.

One in five (20%) say they have texted or called a friend or family member to get advice when making a buying decision in-store. Meanwhile, about one in ten women (11%) admit to having sent a ‘dressing room selfie’ of them wearing an item they are considering buying to get a friend’s or family member’s opinion. 

And the need for retailers to support tech-savvy shoppers is mounting too: nearly a quarter (23%) of high street shoppers have downloaded a store or brand app and more than one in ten (11%) use apps on their smartphone to scan barcodes in-store to identify better deals online. 

Also, it would seem the lure of a special deal or an unexpected find still taps into the consumer desire for a fun and dynamic in-store experience. When out buying Christmas gifts, nearly three in ten (29%) say they sometimes end up purchasing gifts they hadn’t planned on, and the same number end up buying ‘gifts’ for themselves. And again, many would welcome tech innovation to help them with discovering deals while they are on the high-street: more than a third (39%) indicated that the ability to receive real-time offers on their mobile when they’re out shopping would spur them to make spontaneous purchases. 

And so the opportunity for retailers to use technology to respond to shoppers’ enthusiasm and add sparkle to the in-store experience, as well as open up new and lucrative sales opportunities, is huge – even when customers are so well-informed via the web. Retailers today must take advantage of consumer appetite for tech-enabled in-store experiences to build deeper, more personal customer connections. That’s what the consumer wants this Christmas.

To discover how you can utilise technology to connect with your retail customers in whole new ways, check out our Engage With Today’s Customers: 4 Ways Retail Can Reimagine Business e-book.