59% of UK Consumers Still Prefer to Buy Groceries In-Store

Adopting Click-and-Mortar™ shopping allows consumers to leverage the best of both online and in-person features to maximize their buying experience.

For instance, a shopper might use digital features like price matching and promo codes to get the best deal, finalize their purchase, and make an in-store appearance to pick it up.  

According to PYMNTS Intelligence’s “2024 Global Digital Shopping Index,” which was commissioned by Visa Acceptance Solutions, the Click-and-Mortar™ approach is gaining traction worldwide. As we reveal in the U.K. Edition, the portion of the U.K.’s consumers who are Click-and- Mortar™ shoppers has grown 30% since 2020. 

As noteworthy as the growth in the U.K. has been, the study — based on surveys of more than 2,300 U.K. consumers and 570 merchants — found it to be more modest than what we saw in the seven markets we researched. 

In other countries we examined, Click-and-Mortar™ shopping has become so popular that it has begun to eclipse online-only shopping, but that is not the case in the U.K. 

Only about one-fifth of U.K. shoppers enhance their in-store shopping experience with digital aids. Another 7.1% initiate their shopping process online and then opt for curbside or in-store payment or pickup. These two segments collectively account for the U.K.’s Click-and-Mortar™ consumer base. 

As the chart illustrates, 64% of U.K. retail shoppers prefer to do their shopping entirely online, while 59% of U.K. consumers prefer to buy their groceries in-person at traditional storefront.  

These findings may lead one to think U.K. consumers are set in their ways. However, the fact that 25% of U.K. grocery shoppers and 8% of U.K. retail shoppers now enhance their shopping with digital aids suggests that consumers there are eager to evolve. 

One way to broaden interest in leveraging digital features to improve the overall shopping experience would be giving shoppers the features they want. For instance, worldwide, one highly sought-after feature is the option to split purchases into multiple payments. While 34% of U.K. merchants offer a split-payment option, 91% of merchants in Saudi Arabia offer it. Another example: 68% of U.K. shoppers told us they would use digital promo codes, but only 32% could find the promo codes on their merchant’s site.  

If U.K. merchants hope to capitalize on the growing popularity of Click-and-Mortar™ shopping, they must focus on deploying the digital tools consumers want. By doing so, according to our estimates, they could tap into a potential 59% increase in customer satisfaction levels. Equally important, they would elevate the overall U.K. shopping experience to match what shoppers around the globe encounter and increasingly expect.   

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