A quarter of shoppers think their online shopping experience improves during Christmas

A quarter of consumers think online shopping experiences are better during the festive season, compared to 42 per cent who feel that their in-store shopping experience worsens at Christmas.

The latest research from eDigitalResearch, which involved 2,000 shoppers, found crowds and queues were the biggest driver of dissatisfaction.

More than half (53 per cent) of people said that managing to avoid them is the main reason behind their satisfaction with online shopping, while 85 per cent said that busy stores are the biggest frustration with in-store shopping, followed by queues (78 per cent) and lack of staff (42 per cent).

Other improvements to online shopping which impacted on satisfaction included: price (51 per cent) and range (51 per cent); flexible delivery options (33 per cent); and clear messages about last ordering dates (24 per cent).

“As marketplaces become more and more competitive, service really is the only way to set your brand apart from the rest,” said Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch.

“Previous eDigitalResearch consumer research suggests that happy, satisfied customers are likely to be loyal towards your brand, leading to repeat purchases and added revenue. Happy customers, loyalty and repeat custom are all the more important at Christmas time when brands large and small, international or independent are competing for consumer spend," he added.

Indeed, the factors improving in-store shopping experiences were found to be price (51 per cent), atmosphere (46 per cent), stock availability and range (35 per cent) and longer opening hours (32 per cent), with eDigitalResearch suggesting that retailers must focus on getting their overall in-store Christmas environment right to attract footfall this year.