Survey insights for UK luxury retailers: how consumers want to shop

Raj Sangha
by Raj Sangha

How do customers want their experiences to be managed within luxury stores…

Qudini surveyed 2,000 UK consumers to better understand how we can help our luxury clients at this important time and pinpoint which of our four key Retail Choreography tools customers wanted to see within luxury retail stores to better manage their experience. So we surveyed customer opinions on:

  • Virtual Queuing Systems: To manage store capacity and to enable customers to queue virtually using their phone or through a host with a tablet.
  • Appointment Scheduling Software: To enable customers to schedule store visits and in-person service or virtual service 24/7 from any channel.
  • Contactless Collection Check-in: To enable customers with online orders to check-in when they arrive at store so that store teams bring their order to them outside of the store.

How do customers want their experiences to be managed within luxury stores…

Customer priorities of these tools specific to luxury retail stores were as follows:

For Millennial and GenZ customers:

1. Contactless online order collections (14%)

2. Virtual queuing systems (12%)

3. Store appointments (10%)

4. Virtual appointments (7%)

 

For Baby Boomer customers:

1. Store appointments (3%)

2. Virtual queuing systems (3%)

3. Contactless online order collections (10%)

4. Virtual appointments (2%)

Overall Millennial and GenZ customers are 4x more likely to find these solution useful. This pattern was common across most retail industries.

Consumers earning between £50k and £100k where the most likely to want Retail Choreography solutions from all retail types. Those earning upwards of £100k were more likely to want virtual queuing and store appointments.

Female consumers were slightly more interested in each solution than male consumers with the exception for virtual appointments. This suggests that for luxury retailers primarily targeting female consumers, there’s an even greater business case for investing in these in-store experience tools to drive sales. While the insights also indicate that luxury brands could attract more men to their offerings by offering virtual appointments.

When asked why customers would find virtual queuing and appointment booking software useful within retail stores during the pandemic, it was clear that most customers felt the solutions could alleviate their health concerns, alongside their concerns around wasted time, poor weather conditions, lack of information and fair process.

 

Business case benefits

The survey responses also indicate that luxury retailers who use any of these five solutions to choreograph their customers’ experience stand to gain significantly through improved revenues and brand relationships across channels.

This is particularly prevalent amongst Millennial and GenZ customers where an average of 77% state that the solutions would positively impact their interactions with retailers in one or more of the following ways:

 

Covid-19 has acted as a catalyst for digital innovation

Our survey found that Millennial and GenZ customers are 3-4 times more likely to find Retail Choreography tools useful within luxury retail stores.

When compared with Baby Boomers across all types of retail stores, these younger generations also report that if a retailer used such tools to manage their experience, they would be:

All this confirms what we all instinctively know to be true – Millennial and GenZ customers want retailers to use digital tools to improve their experience, and they will be driven to spend more and to engage more across a retailer’s entire omni-channel offering in return.

The significantly greater interest in Retail Choreography tools from younger generations suggests they may have wanted these kinds of tools all along and that Covid-19 will prove to be a catalyst for a new era of omni-channel retailing as retailers realise the powerful business case benefits behind offering such tools.

To further add to the business case benefit of using Retail Choreography solutions within luxury retail and the conclusion that Covid will prove to be a catalyst for a new era of omni-channel retailing where queues are eliminated and in-store or virtual appointments and curbside pickup become the norm.

 

 

The survey insights showed the powerful business case benefits for Retail Choreography tools within luxury retail

Our survey also showed that, when compared with their lower household income peers, higher household income groups were 1.6 times more likely to be driven to buy something online or in-store as a result of a retailer using these tools.

21% said they were more likely to make an in-store purchase and 19% were more likely to shop with the retailer online, compared with 12.5% of those from lower household income groups.

Overall, our survey shows that a long wait time is more likely to deter younger generations and those from higher household income groups from visiting stores or returning in the future. To combat this, the insights show that Retail Choreography tools offer a powerful antidote, as these same demographics are also the most likely to be driven to purchase in-store and online across a retailer’s channels, and the most likely to return again as a result of a retailer’s use of digital tools to choreograph their experience.

 

Who normally visits luxury retail stores and how often?

Before Covid-19, 57% of the shoppers within our survey said they visited luxury stores. 6% said they did so often, 20% said they did so sometimes and 31% said they did so rarely.

Younger age demographics are more likely to visit luxury retail stores often and sometimes. Baby Boomers are twice as likely to never visit luxury retail stores as Millennial and GenZ customers.

Unsurprisingly, there is a clear correlation between higher earning households and the likelihood of visiting luxury retail stores often and in general.

Higher household incomes are 3 times more likely to visit these stores often and more than twice as likely to visit sometimes than those in the lowest income group.

Women are just slightly more likely to visit luxury retail stores than men.

 

 

How long customers are prepared to wait for service within luxury retail stores…

When asked how long customers are willing to wait in luxury stores we found that:

A quarter (23%) will only tolerate a wait of up to 3 minutes. 17% will wait between 3-7 minutes and 17% will be willing to wait between 8 and 10 minutes. In total, this means that more than half of luxury shoppers (57%) will only wait up to 10 minutes for service.

These insights demonstrate that the wait time does not need to be long before significant revenues can be lost. This is particularly important in luxury stores because the nature of their high value products means that serving customers can take a long time and so waits for service can easily form.

Interestingly, despite being more likely to walkout without buying anything and less likely to return to the store if they are forced to wait, Millennial and GenZ customers have a higher mean wait time threshold than older generations when it comes to waiting in queues at luxury stores. They are more patient of longer waits, though less tolerant and also, more personally insulted if a wait exceeds their expectations.

Our survey found that customers are slightly more tolerant of waits for service within luxury stores than they are in other stores.

Luxury retail wait time tolerance is similar to that of other stores selling high value products such as car dealerships and travel agencies. This sits just below other stores ranked as most important to customers for their ability to fulfil their basic needs and health needs: grocery stores, estate agencies.

 

Improving luxury profitability and driving lasting brand relevance

These insights show that both during and outside of the Coronavirus, luxury retailers have much to gain by using Retail choreography solutions to manage queues, to offer in-store and virtual appointments and to provide contactless click and collect pickup services.

Our many case studies with leading luxury retailers have also shown the same. For more information on how we can help your brand take a look at our customer success stories or get in touch with our team for a demo at info@qudini.com

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