Last updated: UK retail: 8 ways to maximize a £102bn opportunity

UK retail: 8 ways to maximize a £102bn opportunity


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Retail in the UK is evolving, driven by a competitive market and shoppers demanding the latest tech to enhance the customer experience. Seamless shopper journeys are a must, and retailers need to embrace unified commerce to keep up.

But, who are your customers today? What do they really want? And how can you innovate to offer a great experience that encourages loyalty and increases revenue?

These are questions that need to be answered, so Adyen teamed up with 451 Research, interviewing 5950 consumers, and over 2500 retailers in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America to learn more about the experiences shoppers expect today.

Modern retail: A glossary

Before delving into the details, first let’s take a look at some of the key terms in relation to retail today:

Contextual commerce: Shopping opportunities integrated into everyday activities – allowing people to buy anytime, anywhere.

Cross-channel: Shopping across different retail channels. This could be someone browsing online and buying in-store.

False positives: Purchases made by a legitimate customer which are wrongly blocked due to suspicion of fraud.

Unified commerce: The setup companies need in order to support omnichannel journeys, to create a unified view of the shopper and stock.

Maximizing UK retail opportunity means improving the in-store shopping experience

A poor in-store experience can have a lasting impact, with only a fifth of Brits returning to a store where they’ve previously had a bad experience. The main reasons for a bad experience? Out-of-stock items, long queues, and not offering the right payment methods.

1. Stay in stock
Out of stock items topped the survey as the most frustrating in-store experience, accounting for over £14bn in lost revenue in 2018. Four out of five shoppers said they wouldn’t return to a store if their desired item was out of stock the first time. This shows the impact it has on customer loyalty.

2. Cut down the queues
Queuing in-store is the second biggest source of lost revenue, costing retailers over £11bn each year. Two thirds of consumers abandoned a purchase and left the store because of long queues in the past six months. Our findings show that there’s not only an immediate impact on sales due to long queues, but also a longer term impact – with only a quarter of Brits returning to make a purchase.

3. Offer the right payment methods
Payment methods are key, whether your shoppers are buying in-store, online or both. In-store, two thirds of Brits say contactless would improve store experience and over half of shoppers want to see digital wallets as a payment option. Fortunately, 91% of UK retailers say they are placing importance on offering the payment options that their customers want to pay with.

In e-commerce, UK retailers lost out on £8 billion because the right payment methods were NOT available.

Optimizing the online shopping experience

Bettering the online shopping experience isn’t just about payment methods. Leveling up your checkout and limiting the amount of falsely identified fraud creates happy shoppers.

4. Improving your online checkout
Checkout caused the most annoyance among online shoppers. Customers cited long, painful and manual forms as the key reason for abandoning their purchase at the payment stage. On the positive side, our study found that improving checkout experiences ranked as the highest priority for e-commerce businesses, with a third of retailers working on the optimization of their online checkout.

5. Implement a fraud system that results in fewer false-positives
A quarter of Brits said they would shop online more often if they felt a retailer had a good fraud protection system in place, but only half of UK retailers feel prepared to tackle fraud – including managing and limiting the number of valid customer transactions that are erroneously declined.

The new frontier: A cross-channel shopping experience

The new frontier of retail is cross-channel and contextual commerce. Shoppers want the option to jump between channels as they move through the purchase journey, being able to shop on a given channel, at any given time. Not only that, but they want engagement with brands to be more personalized to them – this includes recommendations and offers.

6. Cross channel buying options
Nearly a quarter of Brits made additional purchases in the last six months because a retailer offered them a cross-channel buying option. Retailers are starting to recognize this opportunity, with our research revealing that half find it very important to offer customers a consistent option of payment methods across sales channels.

7. Contextual commerce
People are more connected and busier than ever, and as a result, shoppers want the purchase experience to be integrated into their lives more seamlessly. This could mean buying through an app, such as Instagram, or even buying via smart speaker. 45% of Brits told us they use social media frequently to shop, however only 17% of UK retailers offer the option for customers to purchase on their social media channels.

8. Cross-selling, recommended products, and personalized offers
There was a £15 billion shaped hole left in the economy in 2018 by businesses not offering cross-selling opportunities, recommended products, nor personalized offers. With shoppers increasingly expecting a more personalized experience when they shop, it’s not a surprise to see that 22% of UK shoppers would increase their spending at a store if they received a more personalized experience through product recommendations and preferences.

UK retail: Are you making the most out of this opportunity?

Maximizing UK retail opportunities means implementing a unified commerce strategy. This solutions affords delivery of a seamless and consistent shopping experience, allowing retailers to tap into otherwise lost revenue.

Fast, flexible e-commerce
is just a few clicks away

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