Stores being too hot or cold, the returns counter located on a different floor and overpowering smells are among shoppers biggest complaints, according to a new poll.

The survey of 2,000 Britons found the layout of a shop changing, broken contactless card machines and having no WiFi in store, also irked people.

For shopping online, 45 per cent of respondents named slow web pages to be their biggest bugbear, alongside products looking different when they arrive and having to wait for refunds.


But while clothes shopping in-store was found to irritate 31 per cent of those polled, one in 10 felt the same way when purchasing online.

A total of 57 per cent said they had walked out of a shop without buying what they went in for, because they were so fed up.

“This research defines a cultural shift and insights into consumers for brands around the future of retail,” said Mark Howley, UK chief executive of Starcom, which commissioned the survey. “Shopping should be an enjoyable experience with interactive areas to enhance this and we predict the way people shop will develop greatly over the next few years, as it already has done up until now.

“Some brands are already delivering this kind of enhanced experience for consumers. Topshop recently launched an immersive experience in its flagship store encouraging customers to touch displays, take pictures and relax on the soft furnishings. Samsung’s new experiential store in Kings Cross allows customer to experience its products, attend masterclasses and provide the consumer with key information by the tech experts.”

One in five respondents also reported having had a disagreement with a member of staff due to being annoyed when shopping, and this led to three in 10 to decide to shop online instead.

One sixth admitted they felt stressed and frustrated when clothes shopping specifically, while one in 10 found themselves “bored”.

More than a third viewed shopping as an experience and aspects which make a great store were found to be attractive interior, plants and “Instagram-able” spaces.

It also emerged that a quarter of respondents would like to see apps which allow you to scan items to avoid having to wait at the checkout, while one in 10 would even like to to have AI-powered shop assistants.

The average respondent said they started to feel ‘impatient after queueing for 10 minutes and nearly half wanted to see waiting times improved in the future.

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More than a third said they would like to see packaging to be more environmentally friendly, with one in five saying they took into consideration whether items are produced ethically when buying them.

A quarter of those polled said while they want to buy new things, they also want to help the planet and be sustainable.

The survey also suggested that almost a third believed shops were important to their local community and the same proportion of respondents thought the traditional high street filled with independent stores will return sometime in the future.

Mr Howley added: “These stats only reinforce that brands need to start offering an even more thrilling and enjoyable experience to the shopper, aside from just a good product. Brands need to think about the customer retail journey, what can you offer them to get them in store that you can’t get online?

“You need to think about what you can offer in terms of exclusivity, building hype around product drops, offering the Instagram photo-opp, from a fancy wall to some type of entertainment, or even an immersive sensory experience.”

SWNS

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