A multi-channel festive shopping season

Research by commercial insurer, NFU Mutual has found that almost half (46%) of consumers plan to do their Christmas shopping using a mixture of online and in-store shopping.


The insight into this year’s festive shopping habits shows that almost half (46%) of consumers have planned to use a mixture of browsing and buying both online and in physical shops – highlighting the importance of both the high street and e-commerce.

The vast majority (72%) of shoppers have planned to do about the same amount of Christmas shopping as last year, with 14% increasing their online purchases. 63% like to see and try out products before buying them in physical shops, and 60% like the convenience of shopping online.

Surveying more than 2,000 consumers, the study revealed that women are generally more likely than men to take a multi-channel shopping approach, (53% vs. 39% respectively), with men 20% more likely than women to shop online. The vast majority of consumers (72%) planned to do about the same amount of Christmas shopping as last year, with 14% planning to increase their online purchases.

Popularity for buying from physical shops is led by the ability to ‘try before you buy’ (63%), and the convenience of purchasing on the spot (52%), while people are most put off by overcrowded shops (44%), the cost of parking (31%) and lengthy queues (31%).

Online shoppers most enjoy the convenience and accessibility (60%), and cheaper product cost (56%), with main barriers including worry about deliveries arriving on time (24%), concerns around payment security (19%), and damages during delivery (17%).

Commenting on the research, Frank Woods, Retail and Wholesale Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “It’s fantastic to see consumers still love the high street, but it is imperative that retailers address the concerns of shoppers such as overcrowding or car parking costs and also consider whether a multi-channel or omni-channel retail strategy would help them to appeal to more customers next year, which also brings fresh challenges such as tackling delivery expectations and online security.”

The research was conducted for NFU Mutual’s Online Retail Guide, a free PDF which advises SMEs on how they can reach their target audience, and contains tips on how retailers can combine online and offline offerings to enhance the customer experience and ultimately, expand in the long term.

To download a free PDF copy of the full guide, visit www.nfumutual.co.uk/onlineretailguide