M&S most valued retailer for consumers
Marks & Spencer is the retailer that shoppers would least like to see disappear from UK high streets, according to a new YouGov consumer survey commissioned by marketing agency Baber Smith.More than one in five (22 per cent) of those polled named M&S as their most valued store, with Tesco and Boots in joint second place after each being named by 13 per cent of respondents. Nearly 2000 people took part in the research.
The survey aimed to discover changes in shopping habits during the recession. It found that the main reasons for chosing a retailer are selection of products (54 per cent), value for money (48 per cent) and reputation (31 per cent). Only 15 per cent of those polled shop online, and only 17 per cent identify ethical agendas as an important factor in establishing trust. Good value for money was seen as more important than low prices by most shoppers.
“Brand image, reputation, product and service quality, as well as perceived value all play a role in shaping a consumer's overall view of a retailer as this research has shown. Amid existing negative consumer sentiments in the current economic climate, companies also risk consumer dissatisfaction and distrust if they no longer live up to their pre-recession promises. A retailer looking to increase footfall in their shops by implementing cost-cutting tactics should proceed with caution. If the quality of products or services falls as a result, such practices may contribute to customer distrust of that particular brand in the long term,” says consumer psychologist Dr Alain Samson.
“With cash-conscious consumers paying closer attention to the purchases they make, retailers are now having to fight harder than ever to maintain levels of consumer trust. As our research shows Marks & Spencer is leading the way with a strong focus on offering high quality products, at good value, upholding its good reputation. In this recession, retailers have only one opportunity to get it right otherwise customers will vote with their feet,” says Baber Smith managing director Sam Jordan.
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