92% of consumers are unhappy with retailers returns policies on Black Friday

62% of UK consumers will be shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, new research by Omnico has found.

Omnico questioned 1200 consumers about their plans for Black Friday (25 November) and Cyber Monday (28 November), as part of the second Omnico Retail Gap Barometer which explores how retailers are meeting changes in shopper behaviour. 46% of respondents said they will buy online with home delivery while only 19% will opt for click-and-collect.

More than half (51%) of those shopping online or via a mobile app said they will do so because of the home delivery options, while 47% said it was for the convenience of being able to shop at any time of the day. For 41% it was because they could avoid queues.

"Our survey shows that retailers facing the Black Friday and Cyber Monday onslaught need to be fully prepared for all the options that shoppers today are now demanding," said Mel Taylor, CEO, Omnico Group. "Retailers must make it easy for consumers to browse, buy and return goods as they wish, particularly during these busy periods. They have to use technology to adapt to what shoppers want."

The survey revealed that 92% of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are unhappy with returns policies for goods bought online and want to be offered more options including returning goods to a store, or sending them back from their home using a courier or from a third-party pick-up point such as a station.

When it comes to Christmas gifts, the survey found that online shopping with home delivery is now favoured by more consumers (37%) than any other method, including shopping in a store (33%).

Overall, consumers gave UK retail 72 points out of 100 for the quality of their customer-experience, the same result as the first quarterly Omnico Retail Gap Barometer from August this year. While the verdicts of respondents generally matched the first barometer, there was a 5% increase in shoppers who gave a good or outstanding rating to buying-online-with-home-delivery and a 4% increase in the same level of approval for selecting-and-paying-in-store.

There was, however, a 4% decline in the number of consumers rating retailers as good or outstanding at providing them with a view of all the stock available in other stores and online when products are sold out in the store they visit.

"The Gap Barometer confirms there is a drift towards online shopping," added Taylor. "Consumers can easily lose patience with retailers who don't provide a genuinely omni-channel service. It is regrettable that some retailers are neglecting stock visibility which is crucial to making customers feel that no matter how they shop, their order will be fulfilled."

"While the overall Retail Gap Barometer score may be stable, there are no grounds for complacency," added Taylor. "It is a question of retailers seizing all the opportunities by integrating their systems to give consumers what they want. The technology is there, they just need to do it."

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