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Jersey shoppers still frustrated by local retailers slow to get online

16/01/2013 | Matthew Robins

Clicksandmortar

Jersey Clicks & Mortar Survey 2012 - the findings

A new survey has shown that Jersey consumers are waiting for Jersey-owned retailers to respond to their demand for a combined online and offline service.

The survey, organised by digital agency Webreality in December 2012, repeated research conducted exactly two years earlier, with the aim of measuring how local consumer attitudes had changed in the intervening two years.   

Respondents, who were recruited through social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, were asked a series of questions in an online survey about their expectations of the online service provided by Jersey-owned retailers.

The main finding of the survey was that the majority of the 79 respondents (76.7%) stated that they would welcome the opportunity to spend more money with local retailers if they had websites where they could shop 24 hours a day. This percentage was slightly down on 2010 (82%) but comparable.

The results also showed that Jersey consumers have not lost their willingness to spend above the typical UK online price for a product if they needed it faster than a UK online retailer could deliver it to Jersey.

Matthew Robins, Chief Executive of survey organiser Webreality, commented:

“Two years since we first researched local consumer attitudes to the idea of Jersey shops trading online, local shoppers still say they want to be able to shop online with their local retailers, and yet it is still very hard to name Jersey shops who have responded to this consumer need.”

“The retail sector generally is having a very hard time nationally and locally, with stores large and small closing down. Recent casualties in the UK, such as Comet, Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster, have been hit very hard by online competition because they didn’t succeed in adapting fast enough to changing consumer expectations. 

“We hope that this research will reinforce the signal first given by Jersey shoppers in 2010 that they shop differently now, and that local retailers will increasingly lose out on their custom if they aren’t even present when those shoppers are doing their online research and price comparisons.

There is a clear signal here that price is not the only factor, and that local shops can compete on stock availability, but only if impatient online shoppers can see what’s in stock, even when the store is closed.   

“The big winners on the UK high street at the moment are the retailers who are embracing the “multi-channel” approach - blending a helpful online presence with their traditional stores. The future retail survivors in Jersey will be the ones that follow the multi-channel path.

It’s not black or white with retail today - there are many shades of grey, with services like “click and collect” becoming increasingly popular. Jersey retailers urgently need to find their place on the spectrum.”

Notes for editors

Key findings - December 2012

  1. 76.7% said they would welcome the opportunity to spend more money with local retailers if they had websites where they could shop 24 hours a day (compared with 82% in 2010).
  2. 74% said that it would be “vital” or “important” that prices offered by Jersey shops trading online matched the lowest you could find elsewhere on the web (compared with 71% in 2010).
  3. However, 57.5% said that they would spend 10% or more in excess of a typical UK online price if there was something they needed to buy urgently and they couldn’t wait for delivery from the UK (compared with 63% in 2010).
  4. Respondents named “Ability to browse and shop 24 hours a day” as the most valuable factor to them (55.6% of votes) from the combined offering of physical shop and online ordering (compared with “Local presence for back-up service” as the top answer in 2010with 56%).

Webreality conducted the survey using “SurveyMonkey.com” for 30 days from 15 November to 14 December 2012. 

Responses were solicited using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and 79 people in Jersey responded.

> Download the full survey results here