UK consumers reluctant to buy expensive goods online


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: UK consumers reluctant to buy expensive goods online.

Almost two thirds of consumers are unwilling to make expensive purchases online and prefer to spend larger amounts in store, according to new research.

A study of 1,000 UK consumers, conducted by PushON, found that 62% of shoppers would rather buy pricey, considered purchases in store, rather than online, with a massive 82% believing in store purchasing gives them more security when shopping for expensive items. They claim this is because they can see exactly what a product looks like before committing to the purchase.

When deciding on a purchase, 47% would prefer to research products online to help them make a decision, but would then opt to go in store to buy because they have the option of asking for help from customer service assistants.

In fact, 79% have seen an expensive product online that they have liked, but have then gone in store to make the final purchase.

Despite online sales increasing year-on-year, shoppers have a limit as to how much they will spend over the internet. Over a third (39%) of consumers admit they will spend a maximum of £1,000 online, but would feel safer handing over larger sums of cash in person, meaning retailers could be missing out on thousands in online sales.

This research was carried out as part of PushON's 'Webrooming vs Showrooming report', which looks at consumers' shopping preferences and how they prefer to buy considered purchases.

Sam Rutley, managing director at PushON, said: "Consumers seem to feel very comfortable researching expensive products online, because they can compare a lot of options in a small amount of time without having to travel to lots of different shops. But the issue lies with when they come to make the final purchase, as many don't currently feel confident doing this over the internet, mainly because they can't see what the product looks like in real life.

"With customers reluctant to spend large amounts online, this limits the types of sales that retailers can make through their websites. Of course, this will have a greater effect on those retailers that sell higher value purchases, such as cars, kitchens or furniture, and could drastically lower their online sales.

"Retailers need to be addressing this issue by building up the same level of trust and reliability online that customers feel they receive when shopping in store. They should therefore re-evaluate the customer support they provide across all purchasing platforms so customers feel confident in the products they're buying and trust in the online process. If not, some retailers could be missing out on thousands of pounds in lost sales and revenue."

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