45% of UK consumers prefer to shop on the high street rather than online

Independent retailers to expect boost from tomorrow’s Small Business Saturday as research finds almost half of shoppers in favour of “personal, quality service” provided on the high street

45% of UK consumers prefer to buy from high street retailers rather than online merchants, according to a new survey of 2,000 shoppers from Rackspace.

Released in the run-up to Small Business Saturday tomorrow, the research found that almost half of UK shoppers are in favour of bricks and mortar stores with 38% citing that one of the main benefits of shopping on the high street is to “find inspiration”.

Among the responses to biggest “frustrations” with shopping online were too many irrelevant pop-up adverts, too many options, difficult search tools, lower quality customer service and the website not being personalised enough.

Although the majority of respondents (80%) stated that online businesses had made shopping easier, 34% said that they stop browsing a website after 10 minutes if they can’t find what they want with 24% then turning to the high street to find what they want instead.

In addition, the study found that women are more patient online shoppers with 28% of women happy to spend over 10 minutes looking for an item compared to the 40% of men that said they would stop browsing after 10 minutes.

Rackspace vice president of technology, Nigel Beighton, commented:

“There is no doubt that the internet has made shopping cheaper but this survey shows that retailers are really missing a trick when it comes to converting browsing shoppers to buying customers on their websites. Retailers are making it too difficult for them to find what they want because of limited and frustrating search filters.

“Smaller online retailers that can’t compete on price with bigger brands should seize the opportunity of search to give customers the ‘inspiration’ that they are failing to find online. Using search that isn’t limed by restricted criteria and a few descriptive words would move them away from trying to challenge competitors on just price alone.”

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