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Insight: study finds UK shoppers are slow to adopt ecommerce technologies

A new study has found that shoppers in the UK and Ireland are slow adopters of new ecommerce technology compared with consumers in other countries.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Insight: study finds UK shoppers are slow to adopt ecommerce technologies

A new study has found that shoppers in the UK and Ireland are slow adopters of new ecommerce technology compared with consumers in other countries.

The Nielsen Quest for Convenience research found that despite leading global markets with the use of self-serve checkouts, shoppers in the UK and Ireland did not show a significant interest in using technology such as in-store WiFi, QR codes, mobile shopping lists, and social media to help with purchasing decisions.

When questioned, a respective 32% and 31% of UK and Ireland shoppers said they used self-service checkouts to reduce checkout times, compared with a global average of just 23%. However, only 20% and 29% of UK and Ireland shoppers respectively said they would use in-store WiFi to access more information or offers while visiting a store. This compares with a global average of 36% and 40% adoption in the Asia-Pacific region.

When looking at the use of QR codes, only 18% and 25% of UK and Ireland shoppers respectively said they would be willing to scan QR codes to access more detailed product information while in-store. In contrast, the global average for this was 34%. 

UK and Ireland shoppers were also found to be less willing to take advantage of online or mobile shopping lists with only 21% of UK shoppers and 28% of Ireland shoppers admitting to using them. The figure was much higher at 40% in the Asia-Pacific region.

Meanwhile, only 9% of UK and 15% of Ireland shoppers said they would use social media to help them decide what to purchase.  

Mike Watkins, head of retail insight at Nielsen, said: “There is no doubt that UK and Ireland shoppers are demanding greater convenience from their retail experiences. But Nielsen’s results show there is a clear need for more to be done in terms of educating and encouraging the use of new and emerging ecommerce technologies that will deliver the convenience that consumers demand.”

The study also reveals that more than a quarter of global consumers seek out products which make their life easier and are more convenient to use. In addition, it found that FMCG online sales now account for almost 7% of total FMCG sales in the UK. Nielsen is predicting that online FMCG sales through supermarkets will reach almost £10 billion a year by 2020, compared to £7 billion in 2017.

Watkins added: “Over the last four years, Nielsen has been tracking a rapidly growing demand for convenience in markets around the world and identified the factors driving this, which include shrinking household sizes, generational needs, and emerging technology. These drivers of convenience, and increasing demand for products and solutions which help to simplify lifestyles, are having an impact across a myriad of industries, particularly ecommerce.”

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