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70% of consumers under 35 want longer shopping hours

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Shoppers demand better all-round convenience as UK research shows decline in customer satisfaction

70% of consumers under 35 say it is important or very important to have longer shopping hours, while 61% of the same age group want Sunday trading hours extended, research by Omnico has found.

The survey of 1,000 UK consumers also found that 51% of under 35s want a shopping location to offer them a single loyalty programme covering all retail, hospitality and leisure activities. Most (56%) also want shopping mall or retail park operators to provide them with a single hub which they can use for all click-and-collect fulfilment, rather than having to visit individual stores. The findings are part of the quarterly Omnico Retail Gap Barometer, measuring how retailers are meeting the expectations of UK shoppers.

“Our research makes clear that many of the under-35 age group can no longer see the point in anything that limits convenience, such as restricted shopping hours or clunky approaches to loyalty,” said Mel Taylor, CEO, Omnico.

“The results also show consumers of all age-groups now demand much more from a visit to a shopping centre or mall. This is hardly surprising given that 44% of respondents said they spend between one and three hours browsing or buying and half (50%) spend an hour having something to eat or drink.” The survey found that irrespective of age, 55% of consumers want a shopping complex to include more activities and facilities such as fast-food outlets (25%), cinemas (20%) and fine-dining (16%).

Unfortunately, the overall results of this quarter’s Omnico Retail Gap Barometer show a slight decline in performance by UK retailers, with the score for experiences rated “good” or “outstanding” dropping two percentage points between November last year (72%) and the current survey in May this year (70%).

Much steeper falls were registered in some individual areas of activity over the same period, particularly in online retail, where ordering and paying online for collection in-store dropped 10.6% from 57.7% to 47.1%.

Ordering and paying online with home delivery fared little better, falling 10.1% from 74.2% to 64.1%. The sole improvement was in the customer experience via phone (typically in a call centre) where there was a slight increase from 26.6% to 28% in “good” or “outstanding” ratings.

“Changing consumer expectations dictate that retail, hospitality, entertainment and leisure come together in one connected experience,” added Taylor. “Consumers, especially the rising generation of younger shoppers who have grown up in the digital world, want to move between experiences without hitch or hassle, no matter what they are doing. They don’t want to be held up when they buy something and they don’t want to be juggling loyalty schemes to get the most out of where they are. It all has to be seamless and connected.

“Everyone in retail or hospitality needs to address these requirements urgently if the decline in performance we see in our quarterly gap barometer is not to be reversed. There are tremendous opportunities in the experience economy – it just takes the right technology to bring it together for everyone to benefit.”

About the Omnico Retail Gap Barometer: Consumers were asked to rate their experience using a total of 20 answers under five question headings. The respondents were required to rank each of the answers from very poor to outstanding, with poor scoring one and outstanding scoring five. Using the scores, the barometer has established a set of benchmarks by which the performance of UK retailers in meeting customers’ omni-channel expectations will be monitored every quarter.

Please follow this link to the full report: www.omnicogroup.com/insights

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