UK retailers lagging behind US when It comes to consumer experiences


New research from Kin + Carta, the global digital transformation consultancy, has revealed that UK retailers are falling short when it comes to coherent experiences across their physical and digital footprints, potentially leading to loss of revenue. A stark contrast to retailers in the US.

The research, conducted with YouGov,  surveyed 2,100 consumers in the UK, and found that 45% of respondents have never felt a connected experience between in-store and online experiences when shopping - revealing a large potential revenue stream which is untapped.

This loss of income due to disconnected experiences was highlighted by the fact that 66% of UK consumers said they had “spent more time and money than intended [with retailers] that gave them an immersive retail experience.” 

In contrast, in a separate survey conducted in the US carried out by Kin + Carta and SurveyMonkey, only 11% of consumers have never encountered connected in-store and online shopping experiences. 62% of respondents from the same survey, reported experiencing shopping that connected both in-store and online.

Additionally, the YouGov research also saw that 54% of people in the UK said that they ‘didn’t have a positive experience in-store when a retailer used their personal data’, with only 14% seeing value in sharing personal information. In the US, 41% of consumers have seen their personal data being put to good use in the retail environment.

Further findings from the YouGov research show:

  • Retailers are not communicating the benefits of smartphone experiences when it comes to retail, with UK consumers not seeing the value in smartphones in the shopping experience with 68% of respondents believing that they are not important
  • 26% of people from the UK spent less than 10% of their time on the phone to shop.
  • Most UK consumers have, ‘never seen an interactive retail experience’ be it in a physical retail store (46%), on a store website (34%) or on a store app (38%)
  • More than half of UK consumers (55%) have not recommended store websites to family or friends because of their interactive retail experience
  • 56% of UK consumers access their loyalty programmes through a retailer’s app

Speaking on the research, Matt Hildon, Retail Portfolio Director, Kin + Carta commented, “This research paints a stark picture of the gulf between what customers want to see to improve their experiences and what retailers are offering. The fact is that customers are simply not having cohesive experiences of retail brands between their physical footprint and their digital channels. Unfortunately, this dissonance is impacting retailers’ bottom lines by missing the opportunity of revenue uplift by a connected omnichannel experience.

“Crafting a fluid omnichannel experience is less about chasing particular technologies and more about understanding customers’ needs. Fulfilling those needs requires a meticulous understanding of available tech, the appropriate use cases, and your customers. It’s at this intersection that true, valuable innovations are made, but without an efficient data infrastructure to parse the information and generate useful insights, you’re just shooting in the dark.”

Research Methodology

This report uses data gathered from a survey of 2,100 UK adults conducted by YouGov.

Fieldwork was undertaken from June-July 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

For the US component of the data, a survey of 2,000 US adults was conducted by Survey Monkey.

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