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Internet users in the UK prefer digital channels to in-store shopping in almost every stage of the path to purchase, according to a survey from retail consultancy Pragma conducted in June 2016. In fact, only when it comes to making the final purchase decision and resolving any post-purchase issues do those surveyed prefer the in-store experience.
Internet users in the UK overwhelmingly prefer digital shopping for keeping up-to-date with the latest products, attaining detailed product information, and even simply browsing products. The Pragma survey reveals that in-store experiences are failing users for these basic shopping tasks.
Even the act of making a purchase is one preferred to be done online. Brick-and-mortar shopping was only judged better for making the final decision on a purchase or sorting out any issues afterward.
It’s little wonder that internet users in the UK are directing ever more of their shopping activities to the web. In fact, nearly 95% of those surveyed said in June that they shopped online the same amount or even more often than two years ago. And while, at some point, as more and more people shop exclusively online, that “more” response will top out and shrink, the fact that only 4% say they’re shopping online less than they used to—compared to 32% shopping less in physical stores—reinforces the idea that in-store shopping is failing users.
In June 2016, eMarketer estimated that there will be 44.4 million digital shoppers in the UK in 2016, which accounts for 93.8% of all UK internet users. These digital shoppers will browse and research products online, but not necessarily make a purchase that way. However, a large share of them will go on to buy: 94.9% this year, suggesting shoppers are happy with the experience. By 2020, 95.3% of digital shoppers in the UK will make a digital purchase.
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