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UK customers content with digital services in retail

UK customers content with digital services in retail
Sunday June 25 2017

Recent study shows retailer-provided digital services perform better than those offered by utility companies or governments

While the British public may prefer to use the digital services offered by utility companies (31%) and government (29%) more frequently than those provided by retailers (25%), it is much less likely to be happy with their performance. 

The recent launch of Fujitsu’s latest research, Digital Inside Out, indicates that satisfaction with digital services offered by utility companies stands at 48%, with central and local government at just 45%, compared to 60% for Retail. Transport lags furthest behind of all, with just 39% of respondents highlighting their satisfaction with digital services.

The research, which examines digital from a broad perspective, included the voices of consumers, employees and business leaders who were asked to assess the challenges and opportunities digital brings to organisations.

Highlights of the research include the fact that 84% of people surveyed ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’ use digital services when possible and that of those, 63% said they were ‘highly comfortable’ in using these services.  In addition, 66% think digital is a quicker way to deal with an organisation, whilst 62% maintained that digital is simpler.

Overall, respondents said that the digital services offered by retailers, utility companies and government agencies, for example, are all equally vital to their daily lives, all rated within a few percentage points of each other in the importance stakes. Only the Financial services industry bucks that trend, digital services again tracking much higher in terms of their significance to customers, with retail taking second place.

Retail and financial services, already dominating in the satisfaction stakes, are perceived to have made the greatest strides to improve their digital offering to customers in the last two years. Retail was named as the most improved sector by 32% of respondents, with financial services following at 26%. 

“The app thing’s very interesting,” commented Richard Levin, managing director of Pure Collection Ltd, in the report.  “Apps will help our Retail business because ultimately if you’ve got our app and you come anywhere near our stores, we’ll send you a message saying, ‘Pop into your local (say) Guildford branch and you might get a nice surprise today.’ That’s becoming very important to us.” 

Fujitsu completed 1,000 online interviews with a representative sample across all regions of the UK. The sample was drawn from the Toluna UK panel community.

In response to the launch today of Fujitsu’s new report, Charles Bligh, managing director of TalkTalk Business, said the research showed how vital it is for British businesses to be online. 

“People want simple, accessible services. Along with connecting businesses with consumers, the internet allows firms to scale quickly and connect with employees, suppliers and customers anywhere in the world,” he said.  “The good news is that our own research shows nine out of 10 say broadband is critical to growth, but despite that 47% of small businesses say they are not getting value from their broadband provider.”

John Pincott, European MD, Shopatron warned that in an increasingly crowded marketplace, it’s important retailers ensure they remain a step ahead. 

“Consumers are creatures of habit and want to shop at the places they know and love That is until the services they receive becomes notably poorer in comparison to the rest of the market,” he explained. “Those that fail to implement these increasingly “expected” services, the impact will be catastrophic.
 
“Shoppers love the convenience and customer services that come with buying items in-person. With this in mind, the final piece of any online retailer’s consumer offering should be to allow a physical location in which shoppers can interact with the store and pick-up goods in a way convenient for them.”