Nearly 9 in 10 consumers felt shopping experience improved during pandemic, report reveals

Almost 9 in 10 retail customers felt the shopping experience vastly improved over the course of the pandemic, according to new research from analytics leader SAS.

This sentiment coincides with the migration to online services and apps, with many saying they will continue to shop via ecommerce post-pandemic.

The report found that as a result of the pandemic, 15 per cent began using digital services for the first time, with 17.8 per cent, almost 10.8 million people, trying new digital grocery or food services.

In addition, 22.3 per cent of shoppers intend to make the permanent shift to online services, whilst 23.4 per cent plan to use a mixture of online and in-person options.

Shoppers reported improved services online, including ease of use, more specific and targeted offers, and a faster service.

The research also revealed that there are less reservations when sharing personal data, with 17.7 per cent expressing a greater willingness to share such information.

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Across all industries, 50 per cent of UK customers also revealed that they were prepared to switch providers after just one or two poor experiences.

“It’s clear that the UK’s online retail services, including those provided by supermarkets, have held up extremely well so far during the pandemic and led to clear improvements in the experience for customers,” SAS global retail practice Andrew Fowkes said.

“Retailers are currently facing pressures relating to supply chain problems in the run-up to the busiest time of the year, so it’s important they still manage to capitalise on the opportunity that has arisen.

“The insights that can be gained from data produced by each digital interaction are the key to delivering highly personalised and rewarding customer experiences.

Customers are increasingly aware of this; they want the benefits of a seamless digital experience and, as a result, are becoming more willing to share their data.

“The onus is on retailers to leverage this data using advanced analytics and AI to always deliver the right response, which sometimes needs to be ‘in the moment.”

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