The future of the high street has been somewhat reassured by new research from voice communication specialist, VoCoVo, which found that more than half of consumers said they have no plans to stop shopping in-store.
The report said that longer-term success hinges on businesses’ finding new ways to attract people back to the high street, with 82% of consumers saying they will change the way they shop as a result of the pandemic.
The study found that 31% will do more online shopping and 23% will shop less frequently. However, the high street has a clear future, with 56% saying they have no plans to stop shopping in-store.
VoCoVo said the focus must be on creating the best possible in-store experience with 92% of shoppers having felt frustrated by in-store shopping during the pandemic. The main frustration reported was lack of social distancing, causing 39% to leave shops. And 75% say they walk out of a store if they have to wait.
A third of UK shoppers (31%) said the key to improving customer service lies in staff, whilst a fifth (20%) said they still prefer interaction with retail staff over a fully automated shopping experience.
Martyn Jones, CCO at VoCoVo says: “The rise of online shopping means customers expect a fast and frictionless shopping experience both in-store and online, and if not, they’ll get frustrated and leave. It’s clear that shoppers still believe in the future of the high street, but retailers that are unable to adapt risk losing valuable footfall.”
The VoCoVo study was carried out by independent research house Censuswide and surveyed 4,024 consumers aged 18+ who shop online and in physical stores in the UK and US.