InternetRetailing EXPO, Europe's leading event for digital and multichannel retail, today launches the results from its 'Future of Retail' survey, which investigated 2,000 UK consumers' attitudes to retail experiences both online and in store.
The results show that although the UK won't be moving to a purely virtual, exclusively online retail world anytime soon, there is a clear demand for increased integration across online and in-store – both in terms of the shopping experience and the customer data collected (or not) at each point.
The Reality of Virtual – Demand for On and Offline
Half of respondents (48%) would like more retailers to enable them to see how an outfit might look on them virtually – whether online or instore. Twenty five per cent would be willing to upload a photo to a retailer's website to enable this, whilst 23% would like this to be available via in-store displays or virtual changing rooms where items could be digitally added to their reflection or on-screen image.
In fact, 10% claimed that if retailers offered customers the chance to see how an outfit would look on them, without physically changing, either online or in-store they would purchase more, with 17% claiming they would not only purchase more but also return less.
Neil Gaisford, Managing Director, Retail, Clarion Events commented: "The results show a significant appetite from customers for VR and AI tech to deliver a more integrated omnichannel shopping experience."
"Half of consumers are enthusiastic about the idea of using virtual changing rooms, and over a quarter said it would mean they purchased more. These are statistics that retailers can't afford to ignore. There's a clear shift in UK customer expectations of their retail experience – whether online or in-store, and retailers will need to prepare to meet these demands."
He continued: "There's also an expectation that their offline and online purchases will be available in one single customer view. There is clear consumer demand for everything omnichannel offers; therefore, to ensure their future success, UK retailers must ensure they are meeting the demands of this new 'hybrid' customer."
The impact of the new technologies supporting the omnichannel retail experience will be a hot topic at this year's InternetRetailing EXPO and eDelivery EXPO, taking place on March 21-22 at the NEC. 100 + speakers from retailers such as Lidl, Lastminute.com, Made.com, Sainsbury's and technology vendors including Google and Amazon will be sharing their thoughts on the future of retail; plus discover the latest retail tech with 300+ industry-leading multi-channel exhibitors and get hands-on training with free workshops and clinics.
For further information and to register free for InternetRetailing EXPO and eDelivery EXPO, visit internetretailingexpo.com. Get involved on Twitter by following @etailexpo and with the hashtags #IRX18 #EDX18.