Despite the undeniable growing popularity of online shopping, bricks-and-mortar retailers are far from obsolete - UK consumers still place a high value on shopping in-store. According to Salesforce’s recent Connected Shoppers Report, 95% of us, including those tech-addicted millennials, admit to enjoying the experience of going into a physical store, with biggest draws being the ability to touch and feel the merchandise for ourselves (59%) and buying the items immediately (53%)1.

Yet, even with so many of us still drawn to the high street, the report revealed just how far retailers still have to go when it comes to linking up their online and offline shopping experience. The average customer journey is no longer a linear path, for example the majority of us carry out research online to find the best deals and products before we go in-store to buy. Some shoppers research in-store and buy online while others, particularly millennials (23%), buy online while in a bricks and mortar store1.


Consumers at Christmas

Nowhere is this mix-and-match approach and the resulting requirement for a joined up customer experience more apparent than during the festive period. The push and shove of the Christmas crowds drives many customers away from the high street and towards online. 

  • Nearly nine in ten (88%), UK adults say that they avoid physical stores run up to and during the holidays. 
  • Crowds (79%), traffic (43%) and the convenience of online shopping (46%) were among the main reasons2 adults avoided in-store shopping during the holidays
  • And while Black Friday weekend may be one of the biggest shopping moments of the year, it’s not about the presents. Just 3% of UK adults plan to do most of their Christmas shopping on Black Friday and only 2% plan to their Christmas shopping on Cyber Monday2.
  • 70% of those who have used Amazon plan to buy the same amount or more Christmas gifts from the retailer as last year2. However, almost all consumers will mix online with in-store whether researching or shopping.


Still a long way to go for connected customer experiences

The reality is that retailers still have a lot of work to do to please customers. Three in five (61%)1 of Brits feel customer experiences are still disconnected from channel to channel, and nearly two thirds (65%)1 believe that retailers don’t really know us. In addition, 58%1 of shoppers admit to feeling overwhelmed with marketing communications during the holiday season. 

There is a definite need for brands to get better at having a single view of the customer – pulling data from every channel and customer touch point to make each individual experience feel both seamless and personal.

Using technology like AI-powered predictive intelligence tools, can help retailers to accurately predict what consumers will want and need in the future − in turn enabling them to better understand when UK shoppers are likely to purchase gifts, so that their promotions, offers and suggestions can be targeted at the optimum time.

To further support shoppers’ love of experiences, retailers should also consider arming their in-store associates with technology that helps them to quickly check store inventory, product information or pricing, and quickly access customer data that can help to personalise the in-store experience to meet shoppers’ growing expectations. This will become increasingly important as the shopping experience continues to be disrupted by online-only retailers like Amazon − understanding what the customer wants, and where they are buying, will be key to survival.

Interested in learning more? Get a closer look at what consumers had to say about retail shopping in the 2017 Connected Shoppers Report,



Salesforce’s Connected Shopper Survey

The data in this report reflects a 2017 survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Salesforce between August 4th and 8th, 2017, among 1,053 adults 18+ in Germany, 1,020 adults 18+ in France, 1,079 adults 18+ in the Netherlands and 1,043 adults 18+ in the UK, among whom 529 are Millennials (ages 18-36), 530 are Gen Xers (ages 37-52), and 737 are Baby Boomers (ages 53-71). Adults ages 18+ in each country are defined as “shoppers” in this report.

Raw data were weighted by age within gender, education, race/ethnicity, region and incomes where necessary to reflect the U.S. general adult population.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Poll avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected among those who have agreed to participate in online surveys. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

YouGov research

This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc UK panel of 800,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. Emails are sent to panelists selected at random from the base sample. The e-mail invites them to take part in a survey and provides a generic survey link. Once a panel member clicks on the link they are sent to the survey that they are most required for, according to the sample definition and quotas. (The sample definition could be "GB adult population" or a subset such as "GB adult females"). Invitations to surveys don’t expire and respondents can be sent to any available survey. The responding sample is weighted to the profile of the sample definition to provide a representative reporting sample. The profile is normally derived from census data or, if not available from the census, from industry accepted data.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2035 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th - 28th August 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

YouGov plc make every effort to provide representative information. All results are based on a sample and are therefore subject to statistical errors normally associated with sample-based information.

[1] Harris Poll on behalf of Salesforce (Aug 2017), amongst 1,053 adults in Germany, 1,020 adults in France, 1,079 adults in the Netherlands, and 1,043 adults in the UK

[2] YouGov Plc on behalf of Salesforce (Aug 2017), amongst 2035 UK adults excluding Northern Ireland